Union Budget 2023: The government is undertaking urban planning reforms to transform the cities to future readiness. Presenting the Union Budget 2023-24, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that the states and cities will be encouraged to undertake actions to transform into ‘sustainable cities of tomorrow’.
“This means efficient use of land resources, adequate resources for urban infrastructure, transit-oriented development, enhanced availability and affordability of urban land, and opportunities for all,” added Sitharaman.
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In the Union Budget 2023-24, the Finance Minister has announced a 66 percent hike in the Pradhan Mantri Aawas Yojana (PMAY) outlay to Rs 79,000 crore. She also proposed the formation of the Urban Infrastructure Development Fund (UIDF). Sitharaman added that Rs 10,000 crore per annum will be available for this purpose. The UIDF is on the lines of the Rural Infrastructure Development Fund (RIDF). This will be managed by the National Housing Bank and will be used by public agencies to create urban infrastructure in Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities.
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Apart from these, all cities and towns will be enabled for 100 percent mechanical desludging of septic tanks and sewers to transition from manhole to machine-hole mode. The focus will also be enhanced to provide scientific management of dry and wet waste.
In the Union Budget, FM Sitharaman announced making cities ready for municipal bonds. “through property tax governance reforms and ring-fencing user charges on urban infrastructure, cities will be incentivized to improve their credit-worthiness for municipal bonds.” the Finance Minister told the Parliament.