Smart cities urged to firm up bankable projects for funding

THE Ministry of Urban Development has urged the 20 smart cities selected in the first round of competition to quickly firm up bankable projects for obtaining loan assistance from the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the World Bank and the BRICS Development Bank.

The ADB has in principle agreed to extend a loan of $1 billion, while the World Bank is willing to extend a loan of $500 million for the implementation of the Smart City Mission. BRICS Development Bank is also keen to support smart city projects.

The urban development ministry has emphasised the importance of mobilisation of resources through municipal bonds issues, and want the cities to act quickly to obtain credit ratings from agencies approved by SEBI. The process for credit rating of 85 cities has already been initiated under Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) and all the 500 Mission cities shall complete this process in the next one year.

The US Treasury has expressed willingness to be the ‘transaction advisor’ for such an issue by Pune Municipality, which enjoys credit rating of ‘AA Stable’.

The ministry has also urged the cities to ensure installation of solar energy panels to the maximum extent possible. Eight cities that participated in a meeting in Delhi recently furnished details of projects that could be launched by June this year.