The Real Estate Regulation Bill, which has received nod from the Parliament Select Committee, will be posed to the Cabinet shortly and “I propose to table it in the next session of Parliament,” said M. Venkaiah Naidu, Union Urban Development and Housing Minister.
He was speaking at the Smart Cities Summit 2015 organised by the Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, in New Delhi on Thursday.
Naidu said the Government was in the process of accelerating reforms and transforming India. A number of crucial Bills including that for introduction of GST, raising FDI limit in insurance and enhancing employment generation (through amendments in Factories Act and Apprentices Act) are expected to be taken up for approval in the next session of Parliament, he said.
Regarding smart cities, the minister said, “We have given time till December 15 this year to urban local bodies to submit their city-level Smart City plans. These plans will be evaluated in the second stage of City Challenge Competition for picking up the first batch of 20 cities based on rankings for financing during this financial year. We would like to announce these 20 selected cities based on merit alone in January and release funds.”
He said making smart cities was more than providing business and investment opportunities and required infrastructure. It is all about changing the ways of our thinking and acting for building cities that are for the people, he added.
Naidu said, “We in the Government are doing everything that we need to do. It is now time for industrial and trade bodies like Ficci and others to do your bit in the larger interest of our country.”
In his keynote address, Dr. Subhash Chandra, Chairman, Essel Group & Zee Network, said smart cities were run on smart technologies and needed smart people to run these operations. He said the Government was providing a corpus of Rs. 1,000 crore but there was a need to raise funds from other sources. Dr.
Dr. Jyotsna Suri, President, Ficci, said, “The mission of 100 smart cities to transform the nation is a new and bold initiative of the Government of India. Urbanisation has complex environmental, economic and social issues. Thorough planning, efficient financial and administrative structuring is required to accomplish the Smart City initiative. We also need solutions to reinvent our existing cities to make them Green, inclusive and IT friendly.”
Purushottam Kaushik, MD – Sales, Leader – Country Transformation, Cisco India & SAARC, said that existing cities needed to become smarter to meet the aspirations of citizens. Also, an integrated long term planning view was needed with phased execution with timelines for socially, environmentally and economically sustainable cities.
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