Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said in her budget speech on Tuesday that since the “business as usual” approach to urban planning would not work and a paradigm shift was needed, a high-level panel would be established to make recommendations.
Half of the country’s population is expected to live in urban areas by 2047, making orderly urban development critical, she noted. “This will help realize the country’s economic potential, including livelihood capabilities for the demographic dividend. For this, on the one hand, we must cherish the megacities and their hinterlands in order to become current centers of economic growth. On the other hand, we need to facilitate tier 2 and 3 cities to take the mantle in the future,” she noted.
The panel would be made up of urban planners, urban economists and institutions who will make recommendations on policy, capacity building, planning, implementation and governance. She also proposed the modernization of building regulations, urban plans and transit-oriented development.
“To develop India-specific knowledge in urban planning and design, and to provide certified training in these fields, up to five existing academic institutions in different regions will be designated as centers of excellence. These centers will be provided with endowment funds of Rs. 250 crores each. In addition, AICTE will take the lead in improving the syllabi, quality and access of urban planning courses in other institutions,” she stated.
Ms. Sitharaman suggested a Rs. 76,549.46 crore Budget for the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, an increase of Rs. 54,581 crore in the budget estimate (BE) for 2021-2022 and the revised estimate (RE) for 2021-2022 of Rs. 73,850.26 crore.
Proposed funding for housing under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban) increased from Rs. 8,000 crore in BE 2021-2022 to Rs. 27,000 RE 2021-2022 to Rs. 28,000 in RE 2022-2023. The budget proposed to increase the subsidies to the state governments from Rs. 18,139.55 crore in BE 2021-2022 to Rs. 37,824.35 crore in 2022-2023. For metro projects, the budget suggested Rs. 19,130 crore expenditure, an increase of Rs. 18,998 crore in the BE for 2021-2022.
Allotment for construction of non-residential office buildings, including the Central Vista, Parliament and Supreme Court, for 2022-2023 was proposed at Rs. 2,600.99 crore.
For developing India-specific knowledge in urban planning and design, up to five institutions will be designated as centers of excellence and provided with endowment funds of Rs. 250 crore each
Union Minister of Finance