Cabinet approves India, Singapore deal on urban planning

India’s Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given its approval to a preliminary agreement between India and Singapore on cooperation in the field of urban planning and development

June 27, 2018

The agreement, first signed on May 31, will facilitate Indian Government agencies at the Centre and at State level, including municipal bodies, to tap into the expertise of Singapore agencies in areas of urban development and management, among others

The agreement will support Government of India’s US$30 billion urban renewal and retrofitting program, the ‘Smart City mission’, which aims to upgrade 100 cities by 2022 to make them sustainable and future-ready with active foreign participation

Capacity building in urban planning under the aegis of the latest deal with Singapore will focus on areas of infrastructure development, water and wastewater management, solid waste management, intelligent transport system and public financing

The latest deal on urban planning comes weeks after the Indian Government approved four separate separate agreements with the Governments of France, the UK, Denmark and the Netherlands in the field of sustainable and smart urban development

India’s Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved a preliminary agreement between India and Singapore on cooperation in the field of urban planning and development. The agreement, first signed on May 31, will facilitate Indian Government agencies at the Centre and at State level, including municipal bodies, to tap into the expertise of Singapore agencies in areas of urban development and management, among others. The agreement will offer support to Government of India’s US$30 billion urban renewal and retrofitting program known as the ‘Smart City Mission’. The programme aims to upgrade 100 cities by 2022 to make them sustainable and future-ready, and has seen active participation of foreign countries. Additionally, the deal with Singapore will help build capacities at the National Institution for Transforming India (NITI Aayog), a policy think tank of Government of India, and equip officials with skills related to evidence based policy writing, evaluation, among others.

Capacity building in urban planning under the aegis of the deal will focus on areas of infrastructure development, water and wastewater management, solid waste management, intelligent transport system and public financing. This agreement is expected to lead to dissemination of knowledge of best practices, build capacities and provide hand holding support to various government agencies at the State and Central levels. The agreement follows PM Modi paid an official visit to Singapore over May 31-June 2 as part of a three-nation tour. In Singapore, PM Modi had addressed a business, innovation and community event “India and Singapore: Stepping into the Future – Partnership for Enterprise and Innovation”, apart from delivering the keynote address at the 17th Shangri-la Dialogue. Bilateral relationship between Singapore and India has improved since the signing of the Joint Declaration on a Strategic Partnership in 2015 that has since then facilitated cooperation in a number of disciplines.

During that trip, PM Modi and Lee Hsien Loong, Prime Minister of Singapore, had reaffirmed existing cooperation in Smart Cities and urban solutions, both bilaterally and to support the development of ASEAN Smart Cities Network. The latest agreement on urban planning comes weeks after India approved four separate agreements with France, the UK, Denmark and the Netherlands in the field of sustainable and smart urban development. The ‘Smart City Mission’, launched in mid-2015, is part of an objective to considerably improve standard of living in growing urban centres across India, and reduce urban pollution. Since the launch of the smart cities project, entities from France, Germany, Japan, the USA, the UK, Spain, the Netherlands, Israel, Sweden and Singapore have tied up in different capacity. Besides cementing partnerships with a rapidly developing economy, foreign entities will aim to leverage business opportunities related to affordable housing, urban mobility, skill development, among others.

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