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Read more about Budget 2018: Has Modi govt delivered on its promise of urban development? on Business Standard. BJP govt faces this situation as it heads into its last full budget before general elections in 2019

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budget 2018 has modi govt delivered on its

Budget 2018: Has Modi govt delivered on its

promise of urban development?

BJP govt faces this situation as it heads into its last full budget before general

elections in 2019

Budget 2018 India: With India’s urban population rising by 11 million annually–the

equivalent of adding a Bengaluru every year–and urban voters forming a major vote

base for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), making money and management available for

cities would appear to be a priority.

But promises of smart cities and managing growth to provide jobs and housing for the

coming urban population jump from 377 million in 2011 to 600 million in 2031–with

20% of this growth expected to come from rural distress and migration–are, currently,

displaying little progress.

Less than a quarter of central funds for four major national programmes for India’s

urban renewal have been used, according to an IndiaSpend analysis of government data.

Since urban development is a state subject, state governments implement these national

schemes with central assistance playing

schemes with central assistance playing a key role. State and urban bodies are also

expected to finance a portion of the program on their own by raising funds from other

sources.

A further disaggregation of central funds data from the ministry of housing and urban

affairs reveals:

Upto February 2017–the last release of data–no more than 3% of smart-city

projects were completed and 12% of central funds were released;

With two years to deadline, the Centre–as of July 2017, the last release of

data–was still to release 87% of funds for urban infrastructure in 500 cities and

towns;

Upto July 2017, 95.4% of central funds sanctioned for upgrading 12 heritage

cities were unused, as the programme’s November 2018 deadline approaches;

Work on 93% of sanctioned houses–meant to meet 16% of India’s urban

housing shortage–was incomplete as of January 2018. The target of housing

for all: 2022;

Little is known of how state governments are raising funds and implementing

these programmes.

This is the situation facing the BJP government, as it heads into its last full budget

before general elections in 2019, at a time when Prime Minister Narendra Modi has

promised 100 smart cities and housing for all by 2022.

The urban sector will not just watch how much money is set aside in the 2018-19 budget

but also how it is used, as the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) tries to deliver on its

promises of urban development and rejuvenation ahead of upcoming assembly elections

in eight states and the 2019 general elections.