Skip to main content

India's municipal expenditures one of the poorest in the world, a major barrier to urbanization: UN-Habitat report

All figures in % of GDP
By Rajiv Shah
A new study by the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat), “World Cities Report 2016: Urbanization and Development – Emerging Futures” has regretted extremely low levels of “aggregate municipal expenditures in India”, which happen to be of the worst in the world.
“With only 1.1 per cent of GDP, municipal expenditures in India compare very unfavourably with OECD countries, but even with other BRICS countries such as Brazil, Russia and South Africa. In Latin America, several countries have significantly changed their municipal financial systems”, the report says.
Pointing out that Colombia, previously a highly centralized country, could give a good example on how to raise municipal expenditures, the report says, it has gone through “different phases of decentralization, beginning in the late 1970s.”
The report says, “With a new constitution in 1991, more responsibility was delegated to the municipalities, accompanied by a dramatic increase in transfers from the central to the local level, so that by 1997, municipalities’ expenditures were almost seven per cent of national GDP.”
Poor municipal expenditures in India, the report suggests, is particularly regrettable, as “urban areas contribute more than 60 per cent of GDP and an extra 300 million new urban residents are projected by 2050, leading to a call by the Indian Government to build 100 new cities over the period.”
While this would mean a major challenge for climate change, the report says, this would necessitate building “denser, low-energy, low-infrastructure cities.”
And here, it underlines, “Central to this challenge are the twin bottlenecks of municipal finance, i.e. lack of tax revenues to provide urban services, and infrastructure finance for transport, electricity, communications, water supply, and sanitation in support of production.”
Pointing out why quick urbanization would pick up, the report says, “In India, between 2000 and 2005, urban employment grew at a rate of 3.22 per cent compared to rural employment, which grew by 1.97 per cent.”
It believes, “Urbanization can play a key role in eradicating rural poverty. Research in India found that an increase of 200,000 in the urban population resulted in a decrease of 1.3 to 2.6 per cent in rural poverty. Overall, these urban-rural linkages were behind a reduction of 13 to 25 per cent in rural poverty in India between 1983 and 1999.”
The report says, mega-regions – such as the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC) – will come to play “an increasing role in various dimensions of prosperity”, the report says, at a time when due to “external and domestic factors” the economy decelerated, “one of India’s “strategic initiatives was to transform the Delhi-Mumbai highway into an industrial corridor.”
“The DMIC involves industry and infrastructure in a 150-200 km band on either side of a 1,500 km dedicated railway freight line. Approximately 180 million people, or 14 per cent of the population of India, will live there. The idea is to develop an industrial zone, with eco-cities spanning across six States, together with industrial clusters and rail, road, sea and air connectivity.
“Plans include 24 ‘market-driven’ cities comprising regions with special investment regimes and industrial zones. The scheme places a whole new meaning on the scope and scale of urban economic corridors”, the report underlines.

Comments

check on the expenses of the so called public servants and India will definitely be on the top!

TRENDING

Buddhist shrines massively destroyed by Brahmanical rulers in "pre-Islamic" era: Historian DN Jha's survey

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

India sees 62 journo deaths, 4th highest, amidst pandemic: Swiss media rights body

By Our Representative The Switzerland-based media rights body Press Emblem Campaign (PEC) has noted that India is the fourth most affected country as far as mediapersons’ death on account of Covid-19 is concerned. According to Blaise Lempen, secretary-general of PEC, the global tally of casualties among media persons in the Covid-19 pandemic has reached 1,036 journalists in 73 countries till date.

Liberating Bengal Hindus? Worst flames of communal division, lessons from the past

By Shamsul Islam*  The whole thrust of the RSS-BJP election campaign for 2021 state assembly elections in West Bengal has been to save Bengal from the rule of Mamata Bannerjee who is allegedly not a ‘Hindu’. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, a self-proclaimed Hindu nationalist, as usual set the polarizing agenda. While addressing the first election rally, he called upon the electorate to overthrow the ‘nirmam’ (cruel) rule of Mamata by showing a ‘Ram Card’. He did not name Hindus directly but there was no confusion about the religious identity of the electorate Indian PM was addressing to.

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

Pradeep Bhattacharya, who spent his life for the cause of working masses, rational thinking

By YS Gill*  At 11:30 pm on May 3, 2021, I lost my best friend and comrade Pradeep Bhattacharya. He spent his life dedicated to the cause of the working masses and rational thinking. A person of thorough scientific outlook and a well-read student of Marxian thought, he was a walking encyclopedia and could speak on a wide variety of topics from art and culture to science, philosophy, history and politics.

Rs 5 crore 'demand' for India Today anchor: What about 52 lesser souls who died in April?

By Vidya Bhushan Rawat*  A well known Hindutva protagonist masquerading as journalist passed away recently resulting in messages of condolences and tribute right from the Prime Minister and the Home Minister to progressive liberals expressing grief of his untimely death. It is said that he passed away due to cardiac arrest, though the fact is, he was also Covid infected. The Prime Minister and the Home Minister termed him a ‘brave’ journalist, insisting, his passing away has left a big ‘vacuum’.

Modi's Hindutva 'ensuring' empowerment of rich, disenfranchisement of poor

Bhabani Shankar Nayak*  The Hindutva socio-psychopaths are neither nationalists nor patriotic people. These medieval reactionary forces don’t understand the idea of citizenship, justice, liberty, equality and humanism. Indian democracy is merely an electoral transaction for the Hindutva forces. Hindutva forces neither follow science nor understand the sufferings of fellow human beings. These core qualities are common among the Hindutva forces in India.

Communal rhetoric? Hindutva preached by RSS-BJP is 'monolithic', not Hinduism

By Prem Verma*  I am a devout Hindu but not a believer of RSS Hindutva form of Hinduism which brings about hatred of other religions. My Hindu religion has not taught me to look down on other religions and neither has it instilled in me to go about converting others to my religion because my religion is superior.

India's Covid-19 'nightmare': A product of majoritarian Hindutva ideological praxis?

By Bhabani Shankar Nayak*  Indians struggle to find place and time to bury their dead due to the devastating effects of the second wave of Covid-19 in India. The crematoriums in the capital cities are overflowing with dead bodies. People are dying without oxygen and basic medical support. The cities like Delhi and Mumbai are struggling to cope with the rising number of infections and COVID-19 led deaths. The deaths and destitutions are products of a defunct BJP government led by Narendra Modi.

Indian media persons collapsing to Covid disease as fast as 3 per day, third highest

Yogesh Sharma, Shailesh Rawal  By Our Representative  The Switzerland based media rights and safety body, Press Emblem Campaign ( PEC ) has said that it is “alarming for Indian journalists”, who have lost at least 107 colleagues to Covid-19”, noting, Indian “journo-colleagues” have been collapsing to the Covid-19 complications now as fast as three scribes per day. In a statement, PEC said, “India with 107 media corona-casualties has already placed itself on the third position just below Brazil (181 dead) and Peru (140) in the list of Covid-19 victims among journalist.”