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Corporation may tap foreign funds

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The Hindu                    11.03.2013

Corporation may tap foreign funds

Coimbatore Corporation may tap foreign funds to take up big infrastructure projects. After getting approval from the State Government, the Corporation may approach the funding agencies such as the World Bank or Japan International Cooperation Agency for funds to implement the schemes scheduled under the proposed Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission II.

The civic body’s thinking was impacted by the Union Budget, where no mention was made of JNNURM II.

The Corporation sources said that the thinking had to do with the Union Government not allocating adequate funds or prioritising the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission II - something the Corporation had pinned hopes on for implementing a few schemes. Those include the 24 x 7 drinking water supply scheme for the old city areas, second phase of the storm water drain project and the scheme to clean the tanks in the city.

The sources said that the Corporation was confident of tapping funds from the agencies as it enjoyed robust financial health. This was notwithstanding the deficit budget the Mayor S.M. Velusamy was likely to present on March 14.

Sources added that the ensuing financial year’s budget would be the second deficit budget for the present dispensation. In the last budget, the Corporation had Rs. 27.70-crore in deficit.

This was on account of the increase in capital expenditure.

The deficit for the coming financial year is likely to cross Rs. 30 crore.

And if it is so, it will be notwithstanding the increase in non-tax revenue – revenue from shops and other establishments. For, in the last few months, the Corporation had revised upwards the rents for establishments.

For those establishments whose rents were fixed nine years ago, the Corporation completely fixed a new rate that reflected the current market value.

The sources said this year, the Corporation was focussing not on big budget schemes but those that the civic body will find it easy to implement. And also schemes that will make a difference.

The sources said that the focus will be on education, women’s empowerment and basic sanitation.