The Provision of Urban Amenities in Rural Areas (PURA), a Central Sector scheme re-launched by Ministry of Rural Development (MoRD), Government of India, with support from the Department of Economic Affairs and the technical assistance of the Asian Development Bank, aims at rural infrastructure development and management through PPP in the rural areas. It chiefly aims at economic re-generation activities and is the first attempt at delivering a basket of infrastructure and amenities in these regions.
The MoRD is implementing the PURA scheme under a Public Private Partnership (PPP) framework between gram panchayat(s) and private sector partners with active support of the state governments.
“It is an effort to provide a different framework for the implementation of rural infrastructure development schemes and harness private sector efficiencies in the management of assets and delivery of services,” said a senior official. This would perhaps be the first such attempt at PPP in integrated rural infrastructure development and management in the world.
The primary objectives of the scheme are the provision of livelihood opportunities and urban amenities in rural areas to bridge the rural — urban divide, said Rajesh Bhushan, joint secretary, Dept of rural development of the Ministry of Rural Development, Government of India.
It is an effort towards achieving a holistic and accelerated development of compact areas around a potential growth centre in a gram panchayat (or a group of gram panchayats) through a public-private partnership (PPP) framework for providing livelihood opportunities and urban amenities to improve the quality of life in rural areas.
It is expected that the additional revenue generating activities and the capital grant support would enable a viable PPP in the scheme. Mapping of different risks along with mitigation measures has been attempted. Along with an emphasis upon rural development priorities, it envisages an effort to dovetail developers’ perspective on an economically-viable project. The way project design has been done, the private developer should make requisite profit, about 15 per cent or so, during the project life cycle of about 10 years, said an official.
Funding for the project under PURA scheme would come from MoRD schemes, non-MoRD schemes, private financing and capital grant under PURA.