Policy Scan January 2017admin
A constitutional bid for stronger cities: Directly elected mayors and stronger municipalities
A Private Member Bill was introduced by Dr Shashi Tharoor in the Monsoon session of Lok Sabha to revisit the 74th Constitutional Amendment Act. The Bill seeks to amend the Constitution, to strengthen provisions related to financial, functional and staffing powers of Mayors, empower the city council and mandate devolution of powers to Municipalities. The introduction of the Bill and Dr Tharoor’s public engagement on the subject will stimulate public discourse on the urgent need for addressing the institutional gaps in city governance.
Click here for Janaagraha’s recommendations
Click here for the bill as introduced in parliament
Guaranteeing urban property titles: Rajasthan leads the way
On 4 April, the Rajasthan State assembly approved the passage of the Rajasthan Urban Land (Certification of Titles) bill (ULCT) and became the first state in the country to enact a law on property titles. The system of title certification is expected to guarantee the security of land and property title thus moving away from the system of “presumed ownership”. The bill seeks to prevent delays in public projects due to disputed ownership and also streamline the property tax collection.
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To view the bill click here
Mohalla Sabhas: Deepening democratic participation
In June, the Government of Delhi notified the formation of 2,972 Mohalla Sabhas. These Sabhas will coordinate with different government agencies to execute developmental works, facilitate beneficiary identification for social sector schemes, resolve grievances and monitor local institutions. Janaagraha partnered with the Government of Delhi to assist in the effective functioning of the Mohalla sabhas.
Read more about the initiative here
85 Cities gear up for capital market access
The Ministry of Urban Development has initiated the process of credit rating for Urban Local Bodies(ULBs) in 85 cities in the country. 12 cities inlcuding Amdavad and Pune has completed the process and are in an advanced stage of preparedness for municipal bonds.The completion of credit rating is a pre-requisite for ULBs to float municipal bonds and mobilise resources. According to the High Powered Expert Committee (HPEC) appointed by the Ministry of Urban Development, there is a requirement of investment in urban infrastructure to the tune of ₹ 39.2 lakh crore over the next 20 years and hence raising financial resources from the market is the need of the hour.
Read more here