New Delhi: Norms for releasing funds for the ongoing projects in Jammu and Kashmir and Northeast states were relaxed on Thursday by the government, in its effort to accelerate development work in these regions.
The Cabinet Committee on Infrastructure approved the proposals of Urban Development Ministry to delink the reforms implementation with the release of funds for the second instalment in the ongoing projects in these states under Urban Infrastructure Development Scheme for Small and Medium Towns (UIDSSMT).
With this decision, the second instalment for ongoing projects in Northeast states and Jammu and Kashmir will be released on submission of requisite utilisation certificates to the extent of 70 per cent expenditure of earlier released funds.
The requests for release of second instalment to projects in all other states, except these two categories, will be considered on completion of four reforms out of the six mandatory Urban Local Bodies reforms including two key ones.
The two reforms relate to property tax to the extent of 60 per cent coverage of properties and 70 per cent collection efficiency and reforms on recovery of operation and maintenance cost through user charges to the extents of 70 per cent are achieved.
The states, which are not able to complete the reforms to this extent, will be asked to complete the projects from their own resources and get the amount reimbursed of the second instalment due after they achieve the reforms to this extent by the end of this fiscal.
Under the UIDSSMT, a total of 23 urban sector reforms were to be implemented within years of the Mission period upto March this year, which has now been extended by two years more.
A sum of Rs 11,358 crore has been committed for 808 projects in 673 towns in 28 states and five Union Territories under the scheme.
Out of these, 142 projects have already been physically completed and remaining projects are at various stages of completion.