To ascertain the progress of the UPA governments Rs 50,000-crore Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission to spruce up 63 metros across the country,the Planning Commission has decided to undertake a mid-term review of the scheme.
The extensive review exercise,which is likely to take around six months,will evaluate the progress of the scheme and suggest course correction,if any. Speaking to The Indian Express,urban development secretary M Ramachandran said,The terms of reference for the review include monitoring of the projects sanctioned and their current status.
The review will be conducted by an independent third party that shall be commissioned by the ministry and the findings will be submitted to the Commission. The third party could be an external audit firm or a research institution.
The review comes almost ten months after the then finance minister P Chidambaram had recommended setting up of an external evaluation committee to look into money being spent on infrastructure development programmes. His concerns were also shared by the Lok Sabha MP Mohammed Salim-led standing committee on urban development.
Meanwhile,official sources said that the scheme may well extend beyond its current time schedule coinciding with Eleventh Plan-end. Housing and poverty alleviation minister Kumari Selja said,Even though JUNNRUM is a huge cost to the Central and state exchequers,we would still recommend its continuation into the 12th and even the 13th Plan periods. Such a scheme would enable government funding to considerably scale up expenditure,which is the need of the hour,she said.
Sources told The Indian Express that the Planning Commission has already taken an internal decision in this regard and has looked at the idea favourably. There is an internal recommendation that the scheme may be extended to Twelfth Plan period. In that case,the level of funding might go up, sources said.