Shyama Prasad Mukherji Rurban Mission (SPMRM)
The Shyama Prasad Mukherji Rurban Mission (SPMRM) is a scheme launched by Government of India in 2016 to deliver integrated project based infrastructure in the rural areas, which will also include development of economic activities and skill development. The preferred mode of delivery is through Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) while using various scheme funds for financing.
Shyama Prasad Mukherji Rurban Mission (SPMRM) was announced in the Union Budget 2014-15. This was following the Rurban development model of urbanization of the rural areas, adopted in the state of Gujarat through which people living in the rural areas are given efficient civic infrastructure and associate services. Ensuring availability of amenities to rural populace is on the top priority of the central government as 69% of India’s population resides in villages.
Government approved the Shyama Prasad Mukherji Rurban Mission (SPMRM) with an outlay of Rs. 5142.08 crores on 16 September 2015. Rurban Mission was launched by the Hon'ble Prime Minister on 21 February, 2016 at Kurubhata, Murmunda Rurban Cluster, Rajnandgaon, Chattisgarh.
The Mission aims at development of rural growth clusters which have latent potential for growth, in all States and Union Territories (UTs), which would trigger overall development in the region. These clusters would be developed by provisioning of economic activities, developing skills & local entrepreneurship and providing infrastructure amenities. The Rurban Mission will thus develop a cluster of Smart Villages.
For the purposes of SPMRM, Rurban areas refer to a cluster of 15-20 villages having about 30 to 40 lakh population. The clusters will be geographically contiguous Gram Panchayats with a population of about 25000 to 50000 in plain and coastal areas and a population of 5000 to 15000 in desert, hilly or tribal areas. As far as practicable, clusters of village would follow administrative convergence units of Gram Panchayats. These clusters are intended to be well delineated areas with planned layouts prepared following the planning norms (as laid down in the State, Town and Country Planning Acts/similar Central or State statutes as may be applicable), which would be duly notified by the State/UTs. These plans would be finally integrated with the District Plans/Master Plans as the case may be. (For a detailed discussion on the concept of rurban, please see here)
In the first year of SPMRM, 100 Rurban growth clusters will be developed. The mission aims to create 300 such clusters over the next 3 years, across the country. The funding for Rurban Clusters will be through various schemes of the Government converged into the cluster. To ensure an optimum level of development, fourteen components have been suggested as desirable for the cluster, which would include skill development training linked to economic activities. The SPMRM will provide an additional funding support of upto 30 percent of the project cost per cluster as Critical Gap Funding (CGF) as Central Share to enable development of such Rurban clusters.
The State Governments identify the clusters in accordance with the Framework for Implementation prepared by the Ministry of Rural Development. For the selection of clusters, the Ministry of Rural Development is adopting a scientific process of cluster selection which involves an objective analysis at the District, Sub District and Village level, of the demography, economy, tourism and pilgrimage significance and transportation corridor impact. While the Ministry, following this analysis, would provide a suggestive list of sub districts to the State, the State Governments would then select the clusters following a set of indicated principles included in the Framework for Implementation.
A predecessor to SPMRM was the Provision of Urban Amenities to Rural Areas (PURA), announced in 2003, aimed at Provision of urban amenities and livelihood opportunities in rural areas to bridge the rural urban divide thereby reducing the migration from rural to urban areas. PURA was for holistic and accelerated development of compact areas around a potential growth center in a Panchayat (or group of Panchayats) through Public Private Partnership (PPP) by providing livelihood opportunities and urban amenities to improve the quality of life in rural areas. It included
- Simultaneous delivery of different schemes
- Deployment of funds for operations and maintenance of assets along with capital investment for creation of assets
- Synergy in operations of schemes – leading to optimal use of resources
- Standards for service delivery in rural areas at par to those set for urban areas
PURA is treated as a “Project” and not a government scheme – Private sector partner has to prepare a detailed business plan. PURA was championed by late President Dr. A P J Abdul Kalam.