The Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) will be the next city to raise money through bonds, Union minister Hardeep Singh Puri said today. The housing and urban affairs minister said many more cities had plans to raise money through this route. It was not a “big deal” to tap funds through bonds, provided the city was managed well and had a good credit rating, he said. “I am familiar with Hyderabad. A (state) minister told me that they are well on the way to raising Rs 1,000 crore (through municipal bonds),” Puri told reporters on the sidelines of an event here. The Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) had in June raised Rs 200 crore by selling 10-year bonds, becoming the first civic body to tap money through this route in 14 years.
At the event, the Union minister said the purpose of raising money through bonds was to strengthen the financial position of cities. About the Narendra Modi government’s flagship Smart City Mission, he said the impact of projects undertaken under the scheme would be visible by mid next year. He also pitched for improving the “walking and cycling” infrastructure, saying “we need to move the people, not the cars”. Puri said the Centre will present Smart City awards in June next year to cities which have performed well in implementing the projects under the scheme.