Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Urban Renewal = Poor Removal?

Jake Skeers reports on the "urban renewal" program of the Indian government: India’s Pro-Investor Plans For Urban Renewal
State governments and associated Urban Local Bodies wishing to draw from the 500 billion rupees ($US11.2 billion) allocated to the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) over seven years, will first need to sign an agreement to implement a list of 13 mandatory items. A central government directorate will monitor the program and withhold funds from cities not implementing it. ...
However, the JNNURM plan is not directed at ameliorating the terrible conditions facing ordinary working people, but at satisfying the long-standing demands of business. The World Bank and Asian Development Bank in particular insist that the government must make India’s cities more conducive to private capital. ...

Compulsory measures set out in the JNNURM scheme ...
  • The repeal of rent control laws
  • The repeal of Urban Land Ceiling and Regulation Acts
  • The reduction of stamp duty to no more than 5 percent within seven years
  • The requirement that, within seven years, local bodies levy charges on service users to recover full costs. Users unable to pay will be refused basic services such as water
    Even if all the money were allocated to helping the poor, it would not resolve the immense social problems in Indian cities. But the purpose of the plan is to create an “investor friendly environment” and attract greater “private sector investments through PPPs”. These Public Private Partnerships are aimed at maximising profit for private investors, not providing affordable, high-quality services for the poor.

    And these articles related to the above:
    All for the builder
    Politicians agree slums must go
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