A lot of efforts are being made to make various urban clusters of Rajasthan, a world-class habitation both for the residents and the tourists. In this regard, Additional Chief Secretary, Urban Development & Housing, Rajasthan, Ashok Jain enumerates the initiatives undertaken by the government and the way forward in a conversation with Kartik Sharma of Elets News Network (ENN)
What all major initiatives have been undertaken towards urbanisation of Rajasthan?
We have various policies in place to ensure rapid development. We have got building by-laws for urban bodies. Township policies are of two types— above 10 hectares and below 10 hectares. That apart, we have master plans prepared for all towns. We have National Capital Region (NCR) in Rajasthan comprising the districts of Alwar and Bharatpur. We have prepared the master plan for Alwar as per the NCR directives and for Bharatpur it is in the making.
We have policies like ‘Chief Minister’s Jan Awas Yojana’ which is towards implementation of ‘Prime Minister’s Awas Yojana’ of the Centre. Government has policies for land allotment for various investment purposes including urban infrastructure, industry, universities and medical facilities among others. Since the launch of these policies in September, 2015 they have evoked stupendous interest among the community of stakeholders from all sections of life. There is a lot of enthusiasm among the vendors since we lead in implementing affordable housing for Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) and Lower Income Group (LIG).
How would you elaborate on the Rajasthan Government’s efforts of wooing investors?
We have Rajasthan Investment Promotion Board (RIPB) which was established in 2014 to incentivise investors who invest in the state that helps in creating new jobs. If the investment is above Rs 100 crore, we offer customised package which is decided by the Cabinet. Through our summit “Resurgent Rajasthan” we invite companies to come and invest here. The last summit was held in November 2015 wherein they signed many agreements with various departments including Urban Development (UD). With UD alone, they have signed 56 Memorandum of Understandings (MoU) in various projects, costing over `30,000 crore. Currently, we are engaged in implementing the projects and processes as facilitators. If they are stuck up at any process, we intervene and resolve the issue.
Rajasthan Investment Promotion Board (RIPB) was established in 2014 to incentivise investors who invest in Rajasthan that helps in creating new jobs. If the investment is above `100 crore, we offer customised package which is decided by the Cabinet
Jaipur is already developed by all parameters. What are your plans to develop other cities at par with the state capital?
Around Alwar there is also Rewari and Neemrana which are also fast developing in terms of investments, industrial development and real estate. That region has now been curved out as another autonomous body called Bhiwadi Industrial Development Authority (BIDA). Special Investment Region (SIR) Act has been passed by the State Government to execute plans. After the formation of BIDA, the region has received undivided attention of the investors and stakeholders.
Does it result in an ease of operation in clubbing the Urban Development and Housing as one department whereas many states have two separate departments for that?
There are two major departments dealing with the UD, one is the local self government and the other is Urban Development and Housing (UD&H). The division of work between the two of them is very clear and their performance is looked after by the same ministry. The coordination among them is of the highest level. Any overlap is sorted out swiftly.
Kindly give a message to the industrial community keen to invest in Rajasthan?
If the interested party is new to Rajasthan then they should visit and hear the success stories of their predecessors. It is only after self verification by the industries, they will generate confidence in the bureaucracy’s cooperation towards implementing the investor’s proposals. Moreover, we have encouraging policies in place which are not limited to paper but also deliver in action.