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Tapping value added to finance urban infra projects through innovative Value Capture Financing

Capital Market 

UD Ministry to soon come out with policy framework to enable ULBs meet investment demand

In the context of growing demand for resources to finance ongoing urban infrastructure expansion, the Ministry of Urban Development will soon come out with a policy framework for an innovative resource mobilization through Value Capture Financing (VCF). This seeks to enable States and city governments raise resources by tapping a share of increase in value of land and other properties like buildings resulting from public investments and policy initiatives, in the identified area of influence.

The Ministry will soon have inter-ministerial consultations on Value Capture Financing based on the feedback from the States. Shri Rajiv Gauba, Secretary (Urban Development) held final round of consultations with States in this regard last week.

The Ministry is keen about integrating VCF into project feasibility assessment for systematic and large scale adoption of capturing a part of potential increase in the value of land and other properties resulting from the proposed investment. The Ministry has identified ten ways of VCF out of which only a couple are being currently used for project financing by some States.

The proposed VCF policy framework that works as a guide to State and city governments will assist in assessing the scope of resource mobilization, identifying the area of influence of proposed projects and optimizing resource mobilization.

The different instruments of VCF are ; Land Value Tax, Fee for changing land use, Betterment levy, Development charges, Transfer of Development Rights, Premium on relaxation of Floor Space Index and Floor Area Ratio, Vacant Land Tax, Tax Increment Financing, Zoning relaxation for land acquisition and Land Pooling System.

While Betterment levy and Development charges are being currently used to some extent in States, the other instruments also have substantial scope for resource mobilization.

Traditional resource mobilization through direct sale of land, the most fundamental asset owned and managed by States and Urban Local Bodies is an inefficient form of resource mobilization and the Ministry is keen about land monetization more effectively though value capture. This innovative mechanism could also be used by central Ministries investing heavily in building national highways, railway projects, power generation and port infrastructure development.

Some cases of current use of VCF tools are:

The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) and City and Industrial Development Corporation Limited (CIDCO) have used different Value Capture methods including Betterment levy to finance infrastructure development in the urbanizing areas. Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra have made Land Value Tax applicable to urban areas too under which increase in land value is tapped through increased revenue tax. West Bengal has formulated a system to capture gains from land use conversion. Area based Development charges are being resorted to in Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Madhya Pradesh. Karnataka, Gujarat and Maharashtra have made enabling provisions for enabling Transfer of Development Rights to buy additional FSI/FAR. Tax Increment Financing (TIF) enables realization of investments through increased taxes in the area of influence of a project and has been proposed by some cities under Smart City Plans.

Andhra Pradesh Government has resorted to Land Pooling for acquiring land for its Amaravati Capital Project under which farmers have given land in return for developed land parcels. Gujarat and Haryana also used this tool for some projects.

Ministry of Urban Development is working to develop a comprehensive VCF framework so that it can be used efficiently and optimally across the country as a method of financing infrastructure and enhancing the finances of urban local bodies.

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(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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