Hyderabad Civic Body To Raise Funds Through Bonds

The Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) will soon be among the cities raising funds through bonds, Union minister Hardeep Singh Puri said today.

The housing and urban affairs minister said many more cities had plans to raise funds through this route.

It was not a "big deal" to tap funds through bonds, provided the city was managed well and had a good credit rating, he said.

"I am familiar with Hyderabad. A (state) minister told me that they are well on the way to raising Rs 1,000 crore (through municipal bonds)," Puri told reporters on the sidelines of an event here.

The Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) had in June raised Rs 200 crore by selling 10-year bonds, becoming the first civic body to tap money through this route in 14 years.

At the event, the Union minister said the purpose of raising money through bonds was to strengthen the financial position of cities.

About the Narendra Modi government's flagship Smart City Mission, he said the impact of projects undertaken under the scheme would be visible by June next year.

Puri also stressed the need for improving the "walking and cycling" infrastructure and creating better public transport system in cities.

"Public transport is an essential part of a smart city.

It does not mean that you need only metro rail. You need to have space for walking and cycling," he said.

Puri said the Centre will present Smart City awards in June next year to cities which have performed well in implementing the projects under the scheme.

"The aim of the contest is to sustain the sense of competition between the smart cities and measure the impact and quality of the projects," he added.

Puri said an award will also be given to the most innovative and successful project in seven categories that are completed by April 1 next year.

He said the World Bank would give USD 1.5 billion (around Rs 9,671 crore) for the Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation scheme.

Also, the French Development Agency will provide 100 million euros (around 756 crore) to fund 15 smart city projects, the minister said.

Puri said a number of domestic and foreign investors were also looking for public-private partnership opportunities in smart city projects in areas such as IT, energy management, environmental sustainability and sanitation.

Tags assigned to this article: