NEW DELHI: Focussing on urban planning and development, finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Tuesday announced setting up a high-level committee of urban planners, economists and institutions to recommend policies for urban development, capacity building, planning, implementation, and governance.

Presenting the Union Budget for FY23, Sitharaman noted that by the year 2047, when India celebrates 100 years of independence, around half of its population is likely to reside in urban areas, which would require orderly development.

“This will help realise the country’s economic potential, including livelihood opportunities for the demographic dividend. For this, on the one hand we need to nurture the megacities and their hinterlands to become current centres of economic growth. On the other hand, we need to facilitate tier 2 and 3 cities to take on the mantle in the future,” she said.

The minister noted that it would require a reimagination of cities into centres of sustainable living with opportunities for all, including women and youth. “For this to happen, urban planning cannot continue with a business-as-usual approach. We plan to steer a paradigm change,” she added.

Experts are of the view that the move is likely to bring about global best practices for urban development.

Debashish Biswas, Partner, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu India LLP, said, “The high-level committee for urban planning is a significant step undertaken in FY22-23 budget for defining our future cities considering future of mobility, work, heath, education and living.”

He added that the committee will be instrumental in defining new age urban planning concepts for Indian cities including evidence-based urban planning, building resilient and sustainable urban areas, digital and technology solutions for urban development, new-age transportation system including electric vehicles, urban area-led economic growth & employment generation, innovative financing, among others.

Adarsh Sharma, Managing Director, Primus Partners, said, “We welcome the move for a high-level committee for urban planners and economists to be formed for recommendations on urban capacity building, planning implementation, and governance. Bringing onboard institutional experts would help in calibrating recommendation on global best practices contextualised in the country context.”

The finance minister also said that the government will provide support to states for urban capacity building. Modernization of building by-laws, town planning schemes (TPS), and transit-oriented development (TOD) will be implemented, she said, adding that it will facilitate reforms for people to live and work closer to mass transit systems.

The central government’s financial support for mass transit projects and AMRUT scheme will be leveraged for formulation of action plans and their implementation for facilitating TOD and TPS by the states.

Further, for developing India specific knowledge in urban planning and design, and to deliver certified training in these areas, up to five existing academic institutions in different regions will be designated as centres of excellence. These centres will be provided endowment funds of 250 crore each.

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Source Google News – Read the original article

Budget 2022: Major push for urban planning – Mint

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