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Only 6 Indian cities qualify as financially independent

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New Delhi: Mumbai is India’s best-run city, followed by Thiruvananthapuram, Kolkata, Pune and Bhopal, according to a new survey. Also called India’s commercial capital, Mumbai scored five of a possible 10 points on financial sustainability and 6.7 for skilled human resource, said the Annual Survey of India’s City-Systems 2015 by Janaagraha, an advocacy, which examined 11 parameters, including powers for raising resources, investment and expenditure.

The main concern, according to the Janaagraha study, is that most Indian cities fail to reach anywhere close to 10.

“These scores imply that Indian cities are grossly under-prepared to deliver a high quality of life that is sustainable in the long term,” a Janaagraha statement said.

“This is particularly worrisome, given the rapid pace of urbanisation in India coupled with the huge backlog in public service delivery. Only robust City-Systems can prepare Indian cities to surmount both these challenges. The scores in this survey do not, by and large, show any significant improvements over the last edition.”

Municipal corporations have limited management capabilities, IndiaSpend had reported earlier, crippling many urban programmes. No more than six of 21 cities (Hyderabad, Pune, Delhi, Mumbai, Patna and Thiruvananthapuram) considered for the study can generate enough money — mostly through property and other taxes — to sustain themselves. The others require handouts from either the state or central government.

Only five states in India — Gujarat, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Punjab — have the financial and administrative ability to manage urbanisation at the present pace, according to this IndiaSpend analysis. Hyderabad and Pune score 8.6 of 10 in financial sustainability.

London and New York score a perfect 10 when it comes to revenue and urban capacities while Mumbai is India’s best with a score of five, followed by Delhi with 4.7 and Pune with 4.6, the ASICS study said. Municipal revenues account for barely 0.75 percent of India’s GDP, as compared to China where the top eight cities contribute to 21 percent of the GDP.

Lack of human resources is another key issue faced by municipal corporations: Patna has only 35 percent positions filled, followed by Bengaluru with 48.4 percent positions. In skilled human resources, Mumbai, as we said, scores the highest with 6.7, followed by Kolkata with 6 and Pune with 5.6. To run a city efficiently, it is essential to empower municipal corporations, which, currently, is not the case.

For instance, mayors in Indian cities have limited powers and are mostly figureheads. In many other countries, mayors run cities as chief ministers do the Indian states — perhaps, with even more power. Their track records often propel them into national politics. The former mayors of Istanbul (Turkey), Jakarta (Indonesia) and Buenos Aires (Argentina) now run their respective countries.(IANS) (Image Courtesy: cloudfront.net)

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  • gauri

    it is very important for a country and hence its states to be financially independent and this is possible only when India’s infrastructure and manufacturing grow and become self sustainable.

  • Annesha Das Gupta

    First and foremost decision that is needed to be taken by the government is to review its urban development policies and bring up the structural blueprints up-to-date.

  • gauri

    it is very important for a country and hence its states to be financially independent and this is possible only when India’s infrastructure and manufacturing grow and become self sustainable.

  • Annesha Das Gupta

    First and foremost decision that is needed to be taken by the government is to review its urban development policies and bring up the structural blueprints up-to-date.

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Swiggy to use digital payments for delivery fleet

Founded in 2014, Swiggy aims to "change the way India eats" and is currently operational in cities like New Delhi, Gurugram, Mumbai, Pune, Kolkata, Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Chennai among a few others

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Another step towards digitizing India
Encouraging Digital Transactions by exempting service tax on Cards (Wikimedia commons)
  • Swiggy is an online food ordering platform
  • It will now allow digital payments for delivery feet
  • this method will prevent any leakage in cash payment process

Online food ordering and delivery platform Swiggy on Monday said it would use privately-run ICICI Bank to allow its delivery fleet to make digital payments.

“Through the use of Unified Payment Interface (UPI)-based solution for instant fund transfers and automated cash deposit machines at ICICI Bank branches and ATMs across the country, the delivery fleet will have a hassle-free way of transferring funds,” the company said in a statement. Swiggy operates with a fleet of over 20,000 delivery persons delivering food from over 25,000 restaurants across 12 cities.

These digital payments will prevent leakage in cash payments. Wikimedia Commons

With cash-on-delivery being a widely used method of payment on the platform, the digital payment methods allow the delivery men to quickly transfer the funds to Swiggy, saving their time, according to the statement.

“With the delivery fleet being the backbone of Swiggy, the adoption of the digital payment solutions will support the ease of operations and save their time and thousands of kilometres of travel,” said the company’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Rahul Bothra in the statement. The digital payment methods will also help in preventing any cash leakages, the company said.

Also Read: Rise Of Digital Media Unstoppable: Experts 

Founded in 2014, Swiggy aims to “change the way India eats” and is currently operational in cities like New Delhi, Gurugram, Mumbai, Pune, Kolkata, Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Chennai among a few others. IANS