Lucknow: The Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh is set to tap Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) funds for development projects under Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) scheme.
This is the second instance when the Yogi government is seeking corporate funds for development projects. Earlier, the state had planned to utilise CSR purse for its proposed 100-meter tall Lord Ram statue on Saryu banks in the Temple Town of Ayodhya.
The government has offered about 85 tourism projects of total worth Rs 2,700 crore across 10 major towns, including Varanasi and Gorakhpur, to companies looking to contribute out of their mandatory CSR spend.
Apart from the Lord Ram statue (estimated to cost Rs 300 crore), corporate funds are also being eyed for the proposed development of new Ayodhya near Saryu river which is estimated at Rs 350 crore. The state government had published a special tourism booklet detailing various proposed projects on offer under CSR. The booklet was distributed among participants at the two-day UP Investors Summit, 2018 in Lucknow on February 21-22.
Mr Adityantah has directed the Urban Development Department to channelise corporate funds under CSR for ongoing projects under AMRUT Yojna.
He has directed convening an early meeting with representatives of corporate entities and banks to take this agenda forward. Official sources here on Sunday said that "the government is of the firm opinion that proposal to harness CSR fund would encourage private companies to partner with the state for projects aimed at socio-economic development."
"This would not only help the government in mobilising additional resources for funding projects under AMRUT, but also build bridges with corporate sector since it is working hard to translate investment proposals received during Investors Summit," the sources claimed.
With the 2019 Lok Sabha polls less than a year away, the state government would be liberally spending on development projects, eyeing the voters. This would leave the state with little financial leeway for remaining projects and in this regard, CSR funds were expected to bridge the gap.
AMRUT scheme was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in June, 2015 for creating sewage networks and water supply infrastructure for urban transformation.
The Yogi government provided Rs 2,200 crore for projects under AMRUT covering 60 towns of the state so far. UNI