Global financial institutions are believed to be earmarking huge amounts of money for smart city initiatives in India.
According to reports in a section of media, Asian Development Bank (ADB) has agreed in principle to set aside $1 billion for extending loans to the smart city projects, while the World Bank has said India’s Smart Cities Mission could avail up to $500 million in long-term loans.
This follows a Government of India’s suggestion to the cities in the first list of 20 smart cities to quickly apply for funding from international bodies, including the World Bank, ADB and the BRICS Development Bank. The Ministry of Urban Development is pushing these cities to waste no time in firming up bankable smart city projects that could get loan assistance.
Recently, Urban Development Secretary Rajiv Gauba discussed the funding aspect of the 20 selected cities, with special focus on Udaipur, Jaipur, Ludhiana, Ahmedabad, Jabalpur, Surat, Pune and Bhubaneswar.
He urged India’s smart cities to quickly work to establish credit ratings from agencies that were approved by the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) in order to more easily access international funding. Eighty-five cities have already initiated the move to establish credit ratings, he said and added that within a year, all 500 cities under the Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) would get credit ratings.