Urban Infra Fund; 66 Per Cent Increase In Allocation For Affordable Housing, And More: Five Highlights From Budget 2023’s Plans For Urban India


 The Union Budget 2023 placed a significant emphasis on orderly urban development in India.

Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman said in her speech today that States and cities will be encouraged to undertake urban planning and development reforms.

1. This would be for the purpose of creating sustainable and inclusive cities of the future. To this the government seeks to focus on:

  • efficient use of land resources available in urban areas,
  • adequate development of urban infrastructure, transit-oriented development (TOD),
  • increased availability and affordability of land resources.

2. City governance and Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) will be encouraged to increase creditworthiness for municipal bonds, through property tax, governance reforms and user charges on urban infrastructure.

3. An urban infrastructure development fund (UDIF) will be established to be used for lending shortfalls during the financing of infrastructure projects. This will be managed by the National Housing Bank and will be used by public agencies.

This is expected to help in preventing delays, and overcome hurdles and cost escalations in the execution that may occur due to lack of financial backing and flow of resources.

The government expects to make available Rs 10,000 crore per annum for this purpose.

4. Further, all cities and towns will be enabled for 100 per cent transition of sewers and septic tanks from manhole to machine hole mode. This would involve mechanised desludging of all septic tanks.

This would eliminate manual scavenging and dependency on labour intensive operations for cleaning, maintenance and operations of drainage and waste management systems in our cities.

5. Affordable housing for the large population continues to remain a key priority for the government.

The government has announced to enhance the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana by 66 per cent, with an amount of over Rs 79,000 Crores.

The previous budget allocation stood at Rs 48,000 crore. The allotted amount was said to be used to complete 80 lakh houses in 2022-23 all over the country for the identified eligible beneficiaries in both rural and urban areas.