'Central government bats for integrated urban development'

Urbanisation is a reality and cannot be wished away, as 80 per cent of the Nation’s GDP comes from urban areas, said Union Minister for Urban Development M Venkaiah Naidu.

He was delivering a speech on ‘Sustainable Urban Development’, at a programme organised by Citizens’ Council of India, Mangaluru Chapter, and Kanara Chamber of Commerce and Industry, at Sanghanikethan on Sunday.

He said that the Prime Minister’s focus is on sustainable and integrated urban development. To achieve the same, projects like Smart City, AMRUT (Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation), Swacch Bharat, Heritage Cities and Livelihood Mission are being implemented.

Stating that during the regime of the UPA Government in the Centre there was lack of integrated and inclusive development, Naidu said that when the NDA-led government took over, it inherited a haphazard development and a shattered economy. “It will take some time to correct the chaos, however, even in a disappointing situation in global scenario, India has been able to maintain 7.3 percent GDP,” he said. 

On Smart cities“It is not easy to bring the dream of Smart city to reality, it requires smart municipal administration and it is the duty of the city municipal administration to improve the parameters. Without funds, infrastructure cannot be developed and tax revisions become inevitable in this direction. Tax revisions must be proportionate to the population and based on future requirements of the city,” he explained.

Naidu said that the system of credit rating is introduced to observe transparency in the selection of cities towards smart city project. Cities like Mangaluru - which have missed the opportunity - will be provided a second chance to resubmit the proposals.

‘Hurdle to development’“The UPA government, which acquired 20 lakh acre land during its tenure of 10 years, has been interrupting the passing of the land bill. Without land acquisition, projects cannot be realised,” he said and expressed his confidence of passing the bill in the upcoming session. 

He also said that GST is needed to bring revolutionary transformation in taxation. The GST has been introduced in 116 countries. If the GST bill is implemented, the GDP can be improvised by 2 percent. But, without allowing the bill to pass, the Congress is stopping the growth of the country.

He further said that it was during the tenure of the UPA in the Centre that the GST bill was introduced. The then Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee introduced the bill in 2008 and P Chidambaram piloted the bill in 2010.

It is shame for people to glorify those who are engaged in anti-national activities, Naidu said and condemned the politicisation of the issue. “The act of people in the Jawaharlal Nehru University, supporting the terrorist Afzal Guru, is condemnable. There is no question of maintaining solidarity with anti-nationals and the government cannot compromise with democracy,” he insisted. 

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