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Cabinet Commits Rs 9,000 Cr More to Irrigation, Approves New Metro Policy

The government, through NABARD, will raise Rs 9,020 crore from capital markets for the completion of 99 irrigation projects under the Prime Minister’s Krishi Sinchai Yojna.

Tushar Dhara | News18.com

Updated:August 16, 2017, 6:00 PM IST
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Cabinet Commits Rs 9,000 Cr More to Irrigation, Approves New Metro Policy
PM Narendra Modi chairing a meeting with senior ministers. Representative Image. (image: PTI)
New Delhi: The Union Cabinet on Wednesday allocated an additional Rs 9,000 crore for irrigation and approved a new Metro rail policy in a big push to infrastructure.

The government, through NABARD, will raise Rs 9,020 crore from capital markets for the completion of 99 irrigation projects under the Prime Minister’s Krishi Sinchai Yojna.

The government said that the projects will provide employment opportunities, and upon completion, will irrigate 76 lakh hectares of land. PM Narendra Modi, in his Independence day speech on Tuesday, said that these 99 projects would be completed by 2019.

In a related decision, the cabinet also decided to complete the remainder of the North Koel reservoir project located in Jharkhand and Bihar.

The project is intended to irrigate the “most backward” and “drought prone” districts in the two states and provide a fillip to agricultural productivity in an effort to lure people away from left wing extremism, Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said at a press briefing after the Cabinet meeting.

The other big infrastructure decision in today’s meeting was the approval of a new Metro rail policy. The policy is aimed at finding solutions for financing concerns for cities that want metros to address traffic congestion. The new policy makes public private partnership compulsory for availing of central funds and makes private investment and “other innovate forms of financing” compulsory to meet the capital expenditure requirements of metro projects.

Today, most Indian cities want a metro, because having such a project is a sign that a city has ‘arrived’. Cities with a population greater than 20 lakhs are eligible. Urban Development officials at the briefing said that the new policy, apart from discussing different financing models, has also given guidelines on how to monetize metro projects.

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| Edited by: Mirza Arif Beg
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