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City eyes world-class tag

The State government has asked the Centre to contribute Rs 16,000 crore in next five years. This is to help it build fast transport systems, improve civic amenities and other basic infrastructure to make Mumbai Metropolitan Region a world-class International Financial Centre, reports Dharmendra Jore.

india Updated: Feb 22, 2009 01:52 IST
Dharmendra Jore

The State government has asked the Centre to contribute Rs 16,000 crore in next five years.

This is to help it build fast transport systems, improve civic amenities and other basic infrastructure to make Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) a world-class International Financial Centre.

The state sought the funds in installments over next five years as the infrastructure will be developed in phases.

The entire plan for MMR involves building faster mass transit systems like Metro, Monorail, elevated roads, increasing capacity of suburban rail network, providing dedicated bus lanes, building civic amenities and facilitating mass housing. It is aimed at improving infrastructure in Mumbai and also in far-flung suburbs from where people can travel pretty fast to reach Mumbai for work.

It also includes creating several business and manufacturing hubs around Mumbai. International Financial Centre (IFC) is a regional hub for finance and trade.

The cost of the plan is Rs 3 lakh crore and state government wants the Centre to contribute 35 per cent of the same, state officials told the 13th Finance Commission during its visit to Mumbai.

The Commission will decide the share of states in the funds collected through taxes.

For years, the state government is demanding that Mumbai should get more money from the Centre as it contributes a major chunk of taxes.

The plan to make MMR an IFC has been chalked out as per the recommendations of a Central committee that wants Mumbai to join the ranks of Frankfurt and Tokyo (both middle level IFCs) by 2012.

After that, Mumbai can compete with top-notch IFCs like London and New York by 2021.

“We have demanded Rs 3,200 crore every year till 2021 for transforming Mumbai into a world-class metropolis with a vibrant economy and quality life for all citizens,” said Finance Minister Dilip Walse-Patil, who made the presentation before the Commission headed by former finance secretary Vijay Kelkar.

Of the Rs 3,18,990 crore for various project in MMR, state will raise Rs 1,61,180 crore through borrowing and Rs 64,472 crore through private sector.