December 2018

Season's Greetings! In this edition of Policy Scan, we are happy to share key takeaways from our roundtable on Municipal Finance Reforms and the report of our study on Sustainable Financing for Urban Karnataka. The issue also features Swati Ramanathan's article in the Hindustan Times on creating slum-free cities and BBMP's efforts to improve its fiscal health.

Roundtable on Municipal Finance Reforms

A round-table consultation on Municipal Finance Reforms in India’s Municipalities was held on 30th October in Bengaluru, which brought together a select group of over 30 domain experts from government and civil society to draw out and synthesize hands-on experiences to identify pathways to fast-track solutions in this sector. The roundtable covered the diagnosis (“what’s the problem”), the technocratic solutions (“what to do about hem”) and the pathways to the solution (“how to get them implemented”).You can read the event report here.

Study on Sustainable Financing for Urban Karnataka

The study is based on a MoU between Directorate of Municipal Administration, Karnataka and Janaagraha to conduct a financial sustainability study of Urban Local Bodies in Karnataka and to suggest best possible measures for improving own revenues in a sustainable manner. The study has resulted in a separate non-financial MoU to establish and run a Revenue Monitoring and Enhancement Cell during May 2018 to May 2020. Read report of the study here.

When Does a Slum Stop Being a Slum?

“Slum-free city” is a term that is often used in India’s urban policy halls. It reflects both an important aspiration but also a crucial public obligation – of our urban local bodies, but also of state and central governments. But what exactly does it mean to be slum-free? Swati Ramanathan, Chairperson of Jana Urban Space Foundation and Co-founder of Janaagraha writes that improving slums to become neighbourhoods is a realistic approach to improving social and economic outcomes, and actually creating a slum-free India. Read the full article here.

BBMP's Corrective Steps to Improve its Fiscal Health.

BBMP has often faced flak multiple times for its poor fiscal health but the recently released 2015-16 audit report also revealed poor financial discipline as the administration did not curtail unnecessary expenditure. This article from The Hindu gives an account of BBMP's fiscal health and quotes Srikanth Vishwanathan, CEO, Janaagraha on BBMP's steps towards improving its financial governance. 

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