After four years Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewable Mission is a flop, and crores later, govt’s urban mission limping: Plan panel
Neeraj Thakur / DNA
Wednesday, March 24, 2010 2:22 IST
New Delhi: The ambitious Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewable Mission (JNNURM) was meant to make cities like Mumbai into Shanghai, but that hasn’t happened even after four years and crores of money spent.
The Planning Commission’s mid-term appraisal on the flagship programme of the government said that the scheme has been a failure in terms of restructuring of state administration, a mandatory norm required to improve the implementation of infrastructure projects in cities.
“Though four years have passed, only some reforms have taken place. Many are still pending,” said the Planning Commission report. Only 10 states have transferred the 12th schedule of the Constitution. While only 20 states have constituted the district planning committees. The process of constituting Metropolitan Planning Committees has been completed by only 4 states.
“Most of the states, have failed to promote devolution of power and pushing local accountability reforms,” said a senior official of the Planning Commission.
In JNNURM, there are 65 mission cities that have to implement changes that reflect transparency in the system. Of these, only 13 have declared completion of e-governance set up and 30 have shifted to double entry accounting.
Only 13 states have transferred water supply and sanitation to district bodies.
The mid-term review also found that many of the tough reforms were pending in collection of property tax, water supply cost recovery, reform in rent control, transfer of city panning function.
While there is a demand from states to double planned expenditure for the scheme, the centre government said it has no more money left for the scheme.
The government’s flagship programme for urban development was launched in December 2005 with a commitment of Rs 50,000 crore to part-fund urban projects over a period of 7 years.
Fund release is tied to a governance reform agenda, which includes repeal of the Urban Land Ceiling and Regulation Act, reform of rent control laws, rationalisation of stamp duty, levy of user charges and transfer of powers to urban local bodies (according to the 74th constitutional amendment).
The urban development ministry (UDM) said that the overall reforms progress under JNNURM has indicated so far that only 56% of state-level reforms committed till 4th year (2008-09) have been achieved, 50% of urban local bodies (ULB) level reforms and 57% of optional reforms committed have been achieved.
States such as Maharashtra, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, and Andhra Pradesh have shown good progress in urban sector reforms.
“However, it is of concern that property taxes have been withdrawn in Haryana, Rajasthan and Punjab. The ministry has taken up this matter with state governments as it contravenes the spirit of JNNURM reforms,” an official in UDM said.