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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.

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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.

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Petrol Prices On The Reverse Trend For The Last 13 Days: Prices Fall

Both in Delhi and Kolkata, diesel prices in the fortnight have declined

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Petrol Prices On The Reverse Trend For The Last 13 Days: Prices Falls
Petrol Prices On The Reverse Trend For The Last 13 Days: Prices Falls, flickr

Domestic petrol prices, which had hit record levels for 16 consecutive days in May, have been on the reverse trend for the last 13 days, including Monday, but the relief for consumers has been slow in coming.

The pace of decline has been less than half the rate of surge.

Percentage-wise, since May 30, when prices started to take a downturn, petrol prices have slipped 2.35 per cent in Delhi, compared to the 5.5 per cent in the previous 16 days.

In absolute terms, prices have gone down by Rs 1.85 a litre since May 30, compared to the increase of Rs 3.8 per litre in the during May 14-29. On Monday, fuel was sold at Rs 76.58 per litre in the national capital, down 20 paise from Sunday’s level, the IndianOil Corp’s website showed.

In Mumbai, where petrol prices were the highest in the country last month, the decline has been much slow at Rs 1.23 per litre so far, against the rise of Rs 3.76 a litre during May 14-29.

On Monday, petrol price in Mumbai was Rs 84.41 per litre against Rs 84.61 on Sunday. Similarly, in Kolkata and Chennai, the fuel was sold at Rs 79.25 and Rs 79.48 respectively.

In Kolkata and Chennai too, the decline has been Rs 1.81 and Rs 1.65 per litre in the last 13 days, around 50 per cent of the previous rate of increase.

In tandem with petrol prices, diesel too has seen a decline, but of only around 2 per cent in all the major cities including Delhi, compared to over 5 per cent rise in the previous fortnight.

Petrol station
Petrol station, flickr

Both in Delhi and Kolkata, diesel prices in the last 13 days have declined by Rs 1.36, and in Mumbai and Kolkata, the fall was of Rs 1.44 and Rs 1.45 per litre respectively.

Also read: Petrol price slashes by 32 paise and diesel price by 85 paise

On Monday, prices of the fuel in Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai and Chennai were at Rs 67.95, Rs 70.50, Rs 72.35 and Rs 71.73 per litre, respectively. (IANS)