Second round of smart city challenge by December 2015

The parameters for the second stage of the competition for smart cities had been set and the round would end by December, Union Minister for Urban Development said.

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He also said the National Democratic Alliance government’s stand on the issue was that the 13th Constitutional Amendment had to be implemented in the right spirit. Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of a function under the Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana, Naidu said the second stage of the smart cities competition had been decided and cities were gearing up for the challenge. “By December, the second round of the competition will be over. The competition has now started,” he said. The Centre provides only Rs 500 crore to a smart city and the rest has to be arranged through public private partnership. “Private investors will invest only if they feel they can get back their money. People must be willing to pay user charges also. You need to work hard. But it is do-able,” Naidu said.

Around 24 countries have shown interest in the smart city mission. The Centre has asked them to choose their cities and they are in touch with the states. States and urban bodies had an important role to play in this, Naidu added.

Addressing queries on India’s position on the draft resolution on Sri Lanka’s alleged during the last phase of its war against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, Naidu said the government was taking a cautious approach as the issue had national and international ramifications.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, during the visit of Sri Lanka Premier Ranil Wickremesinghe to Delhi, had expressed concern on the Sri Lankan Tamil issue and India’s stand was that the 13th Constitutional Amendment should be implemented in true spirit, Naidu said. Devolution of power to provinces, including the Northern province, should reach all the people and every citizen of Sri Lanka should feel part of the system, he added.

“With regards to what happened during the Sri Lankan government action against the LTTE, there is a need for a credible inquiry. What is credible? That has to be decided. India being a neighbour, we need to maintain good relationship with Sri Lanka. But at the same time, Sri Lanka needs to see that the truth comes out and people get justice. That is why our stand has been for a credible inquiry. When the matter is taken up in Geneva, an appropriate response will be given by the government at an appropriate time,” Naidu added.

While Tamil Nadu had a right to pass a resolution, the central government had to take care of various other aspects, the minister said. “If tomorrow somebody demands an inquiry into one part of your country, are you going to accept it? That is an issue one has to deal with carefully.

If somebody tomorrow says they want to take up the issue of Kashmir and let there be a resolution, are we going to accept it? We have to think twice before taking any such step. We are a national party and we are concerned about the national and international ramifications,” he added.

Government of India has given a target of 25 loans per branch under Shishu category, which covers loans up to Rs 50,000 under the Mudra Yojana, during the special campaign period from September 25, 2015 to October 2, 2015, said R Koteeswaran, managing director and chief executive officer of Indian Overseas Bank, which is the convenor of State Level Bankers’ Committee (SLBC), Tamil Nadu. SLBC has drawn a schedule to conduct 33 loan distribution functions in 32 districts throughout the state. Around 2,35,682 of Shishu loans will be distributed through all the branches of all the banks operating in Tamil Nadu.

Source: Business Standard


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