Bharat Rakshak

Consortium of Indian Defence Websites
It is currently 03 Sep 2014 01:59

All times are UTC + 5:30 hours




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 198 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5  Next
Author Message
PostPosted: 17 Feb 2007 01:25 
Offline
Forum Moderator

Joined: 20 Jan 2002 12:31
Posts: 5568
This thread is meant to discuss the subject of planning and financing urban development in India, that raises the standard of living of residents. Please focus on constructive arguments and solutions rather than jus tuse this thread to whine about what is wrong; there is a blots thread to serve that purpose. Here's are a few posts from the economy thread:
Vipul wrote:
In return for its contribution of 73,000 Crores in Tax money, Bombay gets this

The Union Finance Ministry has categorically refused to provide Rs650-crore viability gap fund for the Mumbai Metro project, thus rejecting the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s public commitment made to Mumbaikars last year. Its high time Bombayites revolt against being taken for granted and exploited.

Suraj wrote:
Vipul wrote:

Bombay should expect returns commensurate with its actual output of products and services. While services output may be significant, its manufacturing industry has been gutted, or is significantly in the unorganized (black) sector, such as in Dharavi. Just because corporates choose to HQ in Bombay and file returns there does not mean Bombay generates all of their output.

Suraj wrote:
Vipul wrote:
Going by that logic, very very few cities would be able to get any money for development.Of course Bombay qualifies for that by any yardstick(howsoever narrow it may be).
and most important how would you explain Delhi getting money to the tune of Thousands of Crores every year for its "Infrastructure needs" ?

Do you mean Bombay should receive greater grants on account of its size and importance, or just that it happens to be a reporting place for taxes from a large number of companies ? The former is perfectly fine, the latter, not necessarily so. The article you posted argued the latter. Sure Bombay needs significantly more public investment, as a general statement. No one disagrees with that. It shouldn't argue on the basis of being the tax reporting place for most Indian companies. In any case, the current revenue sharing and urban development investment model is not really going to generate the funds to modernize our cities quickly enough. I've already suggested someone create and provide an initial thrust to an "Urban Development and Public Policy" thread. Would you mind doing that ? Bombay would be as good a case study to begin with as any.

In order for a city to spend on its own infrastructure it needs a degree of financial autonomy to deploy its tax revenues within, rather have a vast hinterland to support as well. Delhi is essentially a city state. Bombay answers to all Maharashtra. The demographic block of non-Bombayite Maharashtrians ensure than Bombay receives less of its own revenues than might otherwise be the case. Sometimes a visionary leader can focus on the big city, but he will end up paying when the whole state votes, e.g. Chandrababu Naidu in AP. In contrast, the big Chinese cities are autonomous municipalities or special administrative regions. Bombay would do very well if administratively forked off in such a manner in order to provide it greater fiscal autonomy. What are the chances of that ? This is a very important subject, and needs its own thread.

Please use this thread to continue discussions.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: 17 Feb 2007 01:57 
Offline
BRF Oldie

Joined: 10 Jan 2006 21:35
Posts: 2804
Location: PA, USA
Central Government does indeed spends lots more money in its controlled cities. City like Ludhiana and Amritsar are gutted while non-producing cities like Chandigarh gets all the money.

Ludhiana has hosiery, Bike and machinery industry along with agriculture. (City of over 50 lakhs does not even have on Park)

Jalandhar has sports, agriculture industry and all of its growth is due to NRIs. (central government NILL)

Amritsar that use to be biggest city in Punjab with lots of hosiery, agricultural and machine tools industry is now totally cut off from rest of the country.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: 17 Feb 2007 02:13 
Offline
BRFite

Joined: 15 Jul 2005 06:45
Posts: 1287
Location: Kolkata
My initial thoughts.

The urban planners and policy makers need to immediately invest massively in tier 3 cities.

I would assume that tier 2 cities will began to absorb cost conscious businesses from the metros.

Given this background, the tier 3 cities must be moulded to attract investment (i.e. once infra is in place). This will ensure equitable development and it will stem the flow of migrants to over crowded metros.

Metro centric growth is not sustainable for long term. We need more urban centers.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: 17 Feb 2007 02:21 
Offline
Forum Moderator

Joined: 20 Jan 2002 12:31
Posts: 5568
SBajwa: what do you propose as a solution ?

SRoy: Do you mind listing these cities for illustrative purposes with examples from the local demographhic movement ? Tier 1 is easy to identify; the difference between Tier 2 and 3 is not so clear. Understanding the dynamics of urban population movement would be very helpful.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: 17 Feb 2007 02:29 
Offline
BRFite

Joined: 02 Sep 1999 11:31
Posts: 639
Location: Office Lounge
I certainly want a standard city road definition. Currently all roads in the city have arbitrary pavement standards, lights, dividers, lanes. This from a nation descended from Indus Valley civilization. A standard road would be well thought out with service ducts, same height of pavement with respect to the roads, dividers, good pavement surfaces, good lighting, trees etc.

All illegal construction on pavements whether religious or not should be forceably erased and no stay order/court case can alter this rule.

Every city of size A, B, C requires a standard for public transportation. What is good for one is perhaps good for the other. If Delhi gets the Metro and is successful, prolly Indore needs one too. If Indore can run a successful private-pubic bus system then Kanpur needs one too. If Delhi can pass a strict environmental law then it is applicable nationwide. In other words, what is good somewhere is instantly scaled up elsewhere.

Scaling up is the the real secret in advanced nations. Look at massa land, you go anywhere there is mini-mall, a mega mall, McDs, highways etc. and the standardization is ubiquitous. This is quite apparent when you cross over to Canada or Mexico. Then you realize why massa land is #1.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: 17 Feb 2007 02:37 
Offline
BRFite

Joined: 11 Nov 2001 12:31
Posts: 805
Institutional reform seems to me the only way forward. States (and perhaps even individual cities) must have more money to spend on their own as they see fit. Depending on the center's largesse for infrastructure spending in every city from Bombay to Baroda is just going to lead to more "broken promises" etc. Asking the Center for money for specific projects in a specific city (e.g. the sewage project in Mumbai) is just stupid. At the very least, why can't each state get a proportion of central funds proportional to its share of GDP, and then have complete autonomy over what it's spent on? Why are there federal agencies that disburse money for specific local projects?

Are there any reforms even in the conceptual stage that will give states more financial autonomy? I had asked about state income taxes in a previous post and was pointed to an article saying that it had proposed by some commission or another. Any progress on that, or other similar reforms?


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: 17 Feb 2007 07:28 
Offline
BRF Oldie

Joined: 10 Jan 2006 21:35
Posts: 2804
Location: PA, USA
Instead of building bypasses, flyovers and MRTS in cities., focus should be on de-congesting the big cities by shifting the industries (especially upcoming which don't require much effort) into the hinterland.

1. I would move all the industry out of Delhi (only business Delhi should have is to govern India), to hinterland like Rohtak, Hissar, Karnal, Ambala.

2. Crop insurance for farmers and agri related industry in countryside.

3. Kick our all the Rice miller and Arhtiyas by fixing FCI., food corporation of India should buy rice, wheat, sugar from the market at market prices to subsidize and sell it to poor., after farmers had been taxed on their produce. Nobody in Punjab and Haryana will then grow Wheat or Rice only Cash crops like fruits, dry fruits, cotton, flowers, vegetables. There are too many traders in between Farmer and Consumer who do not add any value to the product.

4. Why do people go to big cities? because of oppurtunity! move oppurtunity back to village. Give reliance, tata, etc big tax breaks for agri related industry in villages, model should be such that 5-10 acres of these small scall industries should suffice instead of 500-5000 acres that are acquired forcefully by police these days. Watch out another outflux of villagers to cities.

5. Majority of my relatives who are living in Chandigarh, Amritsar, Jalandhar, Ludhiana, Patiala, Bhatinda are there for "their children's future" why aren't they living in villages? because "not good education". "bad healthcare", "etc". What does that tell us?

6. why can't the private industry in each city get together and build the infrascture of Ludhiana? Because of bureaucracy and PILs!! So what need to be done is to fix judiciary.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: 17 Feb 2007 07:33 
Offline
BRF Oldie

Joined: 10 Jan 2006 21:35
Posts: 2804
Location: PA, USA
Problem is that in India democracy is weak while bureaucracy is strong.

Why can't Sarpanch of the village collect money for taxes instead of Tahsildar? (Tahsildar is a post that was created by Akbar the mughal king)

Why can't elected Panchayat of the village hire their own teachers, police officials and doctors for their education, law and order and healthcare? or at least have some say in it.

IAS and IPS along with judiciary is defunct eating up public money without providing adequate protection, healthcare or even basic education about nutrition.

A corrupt Sarpanch will spend money on his village, a corrupt bureaucrat will only eat commissions and spend money on foreign trips to Las Vegas. A corrupt elected Sarpanch is much better than a non-fireable IAS/IPS babu. whole IAS/IPS branch should be made only to advise Panchayts without any powers.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: 17 Feb 2007 10:23 
Offline
BRFite

Joined: 23 Oct 2002 11:31
Posts: 1652
SBajwa wrote:
IAS and IPS along with judiciary is defunct eating up public money without providing adequate protection, healthcare or even basic education about nutrition.


Rahul Mehta would say:

AWMTA :)


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: 17 Feb 2007 17:55 
Offline
BRF Oldie

Joined: 08 Aug 2006 18:43
Posts: 6685
Ministry of Urban Development Annual Report 2005-2006

National Urban Information System

JNNURM Reform action plans
-ENSURING BASIC SERVICES TO URBAN POOR - JNNURM
-PROPERTY TAX
-IMPLEMENTATIONOF THE CONSTITUTION 74 TH AMENDMENT ACT
-CITY PLANNING FUNCTIONS
-COMMUNITY PARTICIPATION LAW
-E-GOVERNANCE
-MUNICIPAL ACCOUNTING
-PUBLIC DISCLOSURE LAW
-RENT CONTROL
-RATIONALISATION OF STAMP DUTY
-REPEAL OF URBAN LAND CEILING AND REGULATION ACT
-INTERNAL EARMARKING FOR BASIC SERVICES FOR POOR
-USER CHARGES


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: 18 Feb 2007 00:46 
Offline
Forum Moderator

Joined: 15 Nov 1999 12:31
Posts: 7328
Quote:
4. Why do people go to big cities? because of oppurtunity! move oppurtunity back to village. Give reliance, tata, etc big tax breaks for agri related industry in villages, model should be such that 5-10 acres of these small scall industries should suffice instead of 500-5000 acres that are acquired forcefully by police these days. Watch out another outflux of villagers to cities.


So what if people migrate from village to cities?
Why this romantic notion of village life? This fetish with farming and inefficient small scale industry? Held by people (city dwellers) who don't have to live there?

Some of the first cities on this planet were on the Indian subcontinent.

Urbanization has been occurring for thousands of years. Only cities provide the concentration of people and resources necessary for civilization to advance. Cities destroy the old feudal order. They destroy the tyranny of the village caste hierarchy, the rough justice of the panchyat. They are great levelers of society.

Urbanization occurs all over the world. The US great plains are reverting to bison and native americans as the population leaves their farms and small settlements and moves to the urban areas. The chinese are building ten cities from scratch to house rural migrants. The villages in Russia are dying as the young migrate to the city. The same is happening in Africa.
And the same forces are at work in India. They are unstoppable.

The challenge is to build even more cities. To build the dams, power plants etc that enable large cities to function. To build the road and rail that connect them, to build the infrastructure.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: 18 Feb 2007 08:38 
Offline
BRF Oldie

Joined: 10 Jan 2006 21:35
Posts: 2804
Location: PA, USA
Quote:

The challenge is to build even more cities. To build the dams, power plants etc that enable large cities to function. To build the road and rail that connect them, to build the infrastructure.


Exactly! but these cities should not be mega cities eating up resources rather small medium size cities that are in a fair distance from each other and their economies supporting each other. We don't want one huge metropolis from Bombay to Delhi in a straigt line, rather small cities every 100 or so kms that are well built and support each other.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: 18 Feb 2007 19:16 
Offline
BRF Oldie

Joined: 19 Jan 2006 03:44
Posts: 2174
Location: Dark side of the moon
Dunno who was it who said it (was it Arun Shourie? or Jerry Rao?) :

" I dream of an India that is a collection of 1000s of free trading cities and towns...."

Whatta beautiful vision, eh? Of course, local govt has got to have financial & law enforcement powers and political accountability at the local level as well. Then we're well and truly on.

IIRC, China is trying to build by fiat 2 urban int'l financial hubs. Well, good luck with that I say coz such things cannot be built by fiat. More likely they'll endup building 3 'Fathepur sikris'. The physical infrastruc comes from govt but the life and meaning of a city ('soul'?) comes from bottom-up entrepreneurship and civil society. IMvHO, of course.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: 18 Feb 2007 21:18 
Offline
BRFite

Joined: 15 Jul 2005 06:45
Posts: 1287
Location: Kolkata
Suraj wrote:
SRoy: Do you mind listing these cities for illustrative purposes with examples from the local demographhic movement ? Tier 1 is easy to identify; the difference between Tier 2 and 3 is not so clear. Understanding the dynamics of urban population movement would be very helpful.

I'll limit my random thoughts to the situation in North.

Lower class migrant workers to Delhi/NCR come from Eastern UP, Bihar, Jharkhand, Northern Bengal, Orissa and Uttrakhand. Some amount of seasonal migration from Rajasthan is also noticed.

In the entire northern belt stretching upto NE, among the upper class and professionals, unless one heads south, Delhi / NCR is the only option. Kolkata has began to offer some alternative lately, but volume is low.

Tier 2 Cities: Have educational institutions, some govt. offices, sizeable population with disposable income, air link, small but established industrial presence. Jaipur, Chandigarh, Bhubaneshwar, Lucknow etc.

Tier 3 Cities: Differ from tier 2 by the following criteria. Industrial presence is non-existent or has been, non or token air link, consumer class is small/non-existent.

Tier 3 is actually a big heterogeneous list. A small town like Allahabad can boast of MNC presence like Alstom's. Kanpur is hub of assorted industries. A huge belt of industrial sites start from Dhanbad in Jarkhand extending all the way over Durgapur, Raniganj and Asansol in Bengal.

There are similar stretches extending from Delhi, one towards Jaipur comprising Manesar, Bhiwadi etc. The other side goes along the Modinagar, Ghaziabad, Meerut etc.

These are erstwhile industrial hubs either have closed shops or are failing. They still have the basic infra like extensive road and rail networks in place.

Policy makers need to pay attention to these places.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: 19 Feb 2007 02:08 
Offline
BRFite -Trainee

Joined: 29 Jan 2006 17:09
Posts: 26
The problem in urban (and even rural) development, IMVVHO, is not resources or lack thereof, it is the colonial governance structure we have continued with.

Ideally, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Bangalore and Chennai should not be state capitals, just centres of industry which they have alrady become. Given our parliamentary representation system, the neta will always be concerned with their constituencies rather than sparing resources for these industrial agglomerates, so these cities end up akin to orphans, neglected by the NB crowd in both the centre and state.

The cities should be declared UTs, but with an empowered local government akin to all other civilized nations in the world...... with its pown developmental bureaucracy (traffic, law & order, sewage, cleanliness, zoning, etc) and taxation (particlarly property tax)

We are persisting with a colonial system of governance, which was designed to be explictly NOT responsive, and subject to, local concerns..... this is the major systemic drawback which is keeping our cities and villages as the cesspools they are.

This is the one area where reforms have not come at all, and are way overdue.

Once Mumbai becomes a UT, with the power of house taxation and share of CG kitty, and freedom to set its onw rent control/ zoning/ local infra, things will slowly but surely start getting better, after all people who stay there and will be asked to pay tax will demand better local governance.

The state govt should move out. Pune should perhaps be declared capital of Marathwada, and Nagpur of Vidarbha.

Similary for Bangalore and Hyderabad


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: 19 Feb 2007 02:37 
Offline
BRFite

Joined: 02 Sep 1999 11:31
Posts: 639
Location: Office Lounge
Good point on the colonial system of Governance that neglects neighborhoods. Each city can be radically cleaned up if the voters are represented. This is the main issue. We have a neighbourhood slum created and abetted by the local politician. The slum people far outnumber the legal residence who are paying house property taxes. The slum every year vote their representative who perpetuates the system of slums even further. Even Madam Sonia abets the slums in Bombay and forbade the reforms of CM Vilasrao Deshmukh. A simple fix is to disallow slums voting rights, no legal residence no legal vote. Who is going to bell the cat?

Change can happen only when uniform laws are applied everywhere. In other words, there is standard law applied across the nation. Not one in Delhi another in Mumbai or Chennai or Kolkatta. Courts/legislation are equally culpable on this issue. We need radical reforms in the Judiciary and the Govt day-to-day operations. Until this happens all these changes become distant dreams.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: 19 Feb 2007 03:58 
Offline
BRF Oldie

Joined: 31 Mar 2006 02:15
Posts: 6030
Location: Still in transit....
SBajwa wrote:
Exactly! but these cities should not be mega cities eating up resources rather small medium size cities that are in a fair distance from each other and their economies supporting each other. We don't want one huge metropolis from Bombay to Delhi in a straigt line, rather small cities every 100 or so kms that are well built and support each other.


I do believe economies of scale apply to cities as well. The small medium cities in the US are in a fight for survival as the best continue to leave for the big cities.

There is nothing inherently wrong with big cities. Tokyo is a mega city with Mumbai -+ densities but it remains very livable. The Ruhr river basin is one continuos city and remains very livable. As does the BAy area and the DC to New York Megapolis.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: 19 Feb 2007 04:18 
Offline
BRF Oldie

Joined: 10 Jan 2006 21:35
Posts: 2804
Location: PA, USA
Quote:
I do believe economies of scale apply to cities as well. The small medium cities in the US are in a fight for survival as the best continue to leave for the big cities.


In USA, internal migration to big cities is not because of poverty but other reasons. It is much easier for Indian, Chinese, Russian doctors, technies, etc to move to hinterland usa than in big cities. Since USA is depended upon immigration we cannot compare usa with india. Japan has already peaked and its population is now declining, while we have to look to future.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: 19 Feb 2007 04:42 
Offline
BRFite -Trainee

Joined: 17 Feb 2007 19:47
Posts: 15
Location: US
I agree on discongestion of big cities. I can talk about Mumbai, the city I am most familiar with. The last time I was there, there were still quite a few manufacturing facilities there, particularly in suburbs. I visited a few chemical plants that, as safe as they may be, still pose a serious threat to the neighbourhood. Just imagine what may happen if there is an accidental release, or worse, are targeted by terrorists. Slums in central Mumbai harbor numerous small scale industries that use harmful chemicals, and dispose off harfmul wastes into Mahim creek and elsewhere. They need to be relocated outside the city just based on the risk they pose to the residents. The same goes for mills and ship yards in southern Mumbai and even the airport in Santa Cruz. Just imagine a big "central park" in the place of the air port. I won't mind it a bit.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: 19 Feb 2007 05:22 
Offline
BRFite -Trainee

Joined: 29 Jan 2006 17:09
Posts: 26
Quote:
A simple fix is to disallow slums voting rights, no legal residence no legal vote. Who is going to bell the cat?


Err....... thats not exactly what I meant, in fact quite the opposite.

Slums are an outcome of our lopsided economic development, not a cause

Once we get locally responsive government, all these slums will clear up, after all, no one really wants to live that way if they can help it.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: 19 Feb 2007 10:07 
Offline
BRFite

Joined: 11 Nov 2001 12:31
Posts: 805
Economies of scale can apply to agglomerations of cities as well. At least in the US, large urban areas like the Bay Area are aggregates of tens of small cities, most of them under a million in population. NYC is probably the closest to a large centrally-administered city, and even that is "only" 7m people. I think Tokyo is different in that there is a central city government in Shinjuku - but Indian administrations are not comparable to Japanese ones when it comes to governance efficacy.

I believe the solution for India is to break up large cities into multiple smaller ones - exactly the opposite of the approach to extend Delhi or Bangalore's city limits to accommodate ever-increasing populations.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: 19 Feb 2007 10:35 
Offline
Forum Moderator

Joined: 20 Jan 2002 12:31
Posts: 5568
Cities need greater financial autonomy. Bombay or any other city ought not to have to beg at the Dilli Billies' feet like this. The current regime of no specific empowered city-level elected administration is not going to help. Besides smaller subcities, each ought to have its own independently elected (and yes, as RM says, recallable) representatives - mayor, majistrates and chief of police for example. Any fiscal measure like a tax item, would have to be voted on by the resident within the subcity. It would be upto the subcity representatives to define the rent control, land ceiling and property tax laws. Bombay or any other decent size city is unadministerable within the current system; whatever mayoral position running the city does exist, is powerless relative to the state leadership, and the primary interest of the latter is the larger rural masses, not the city.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: 19 Feb 2007 11:02 
Offline
BRF Oldie

Joined: 17 Apr 2006 20:02
Posts: 2548
Quote:
Besides smaller subcities, each ought to have its own independently elected (and yes, as RM says, recallable) representatives - mayor, majistrates and chief of police for example.


that also makes local pockets of citizens count.

but there is a definite case to be made for having integrated authorities overlooking and having control of anything to do with channels - water, SWD, UGD, waste water, electricity, roads, public transit on these roads and urban planning. problems in these are best solved when looked at as a whole and not individual nodes.

in effect a 2 layered model - a global infrastructure model over a localized political model.

taking of urban planning, most cities also need to have a dedicated & trained cadre from the open pool manning urban planning cells not just random babus with basic degrees in civil engineering.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: 19 Feb 2007 11:40 
Offline
Forum Moderator

Joined: 20 Jan 2002 12:31
Posts: 5568
Utilities can indeed by administered on a larger scale, with the local administrators interacting with them in order to ensure continuous availability and standard. That is typically the case in well administered cities as well.

A proposition of this kind amounts to a massive reduction of the powers of the office of Chief Minister of a state in favour of the local city mayors and municipal authorities. Power once gained is seldom let go. So how does such a divestiture of power come to pass ?


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: 19 Feb 2007 17:10 
Offline
Forum Moderator

Joined: 13 Aug 2004 19:42
Posts: 32646
Location: Col of the regiment, ORR JTF unit
before cities become independent, the states must gain freedom first. at present all income taxes goes into center , the back to state capitals under a complex system of filters and patronage. If a simple state income tax be created and central tax reduced, the richer states like TN or MH can surely improve their lot. poorer sdre states will still beg from the central pool but atleast the more developed states will get the economic freedom they desire.

from there, the laws can be amended such that local taxes are directly put into 'escrow' a/c to fund local schools, police, roads and drains.

we will soon have a few 'chinese' cities :D but the poorer areas that feed on scraps will feel even more left behind :roll:


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: 19 Feb 2007 21:23 
Offline
BRFite -Trainee

Joined: 29 Jan 2006 17:09
Posts: 26
GD, the Constitution does have a list which the States can levy income tax on, primarily agriculture, but no state has taken that step.

But quibbles aside, I think what we really need is a MASSIVE overhaul of the way we govern ourselves-

1. Local govt looking after all local needs, and with financial viability (world over, property tax forms the basis of local taxation, so it has to be the same in India, can be supplemented by appropriate tarnsfers of GST etc)
2. Zila parishad equivalent to take care of district-wise irrigation/ water/ sewage facilities, where economies of scale are required
3. State to look after inter-district issues, highways, forest lands, etc
4. centre to arbitrate inter-state issues (mostly riverine issues, etc)

And yes, all posts being electable and recallable

Financial viability is a crucial element....... with property tax, and with GST and Income tax transfers from the Cenre, this can work

But will the NBJprie agree to voluntarily doing all this?

So the onleeee solution is....

RM-bhai zindabad!! :D


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: 01 Mar 2007 00:48 
Offline
BRF Oldie

Joined: 15 Jan 2005 03:30
Posts: 2884
Buck up, else mumbai will lose out to Dubai.

MUMBAI: It’s a race against time for Mumbai. Any further delay will result in the nation’s financial capital losing out to Dubai in the race to become an International Finance Centre (IFC), warned city planners. They presented a detailed roadmap to the Centre way back in 2003, only to be frustrated by Delhi’s go-slow attitude].(So what if Bombay is being let-down? We are only too busy buliding rest of India- in the meanwhile, FWIW continue milking Bombay)

“I thought that after four years, Finance Minister P Chidambaram will present the report prepared by the task force formed to develop Mumbai into an IFC. But all we got to hear was that the report is now ready and will be up for debate. In actual terms, we will loose two more years,â€


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: 18 Apr 2007 06:53 
Offline
Forum Moderator

Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30
Posts: 38060
Greater Hyderabad created from April 17th 2007. Its the largest metropolitan area in India. As large as Singapore in area and 1.5 times the population.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: 24 Apr 2007 19:47 
Offline
BRF Oldie

Joined: 15 Jan 2005 03:30
Posts: 2884
For the record: High Power Expert Committee (HPEC) on `Mumbai as International Financial Capital' has certified that Mumbai has been a `milch cow' (check my posting above) for both the Centre and the State. It has got very little back for its own urban development.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: 17 May 2007 05:44 
Offline
Forum Moderator

Joined: 20 Jan 2002 12:31
Posts: 5568
Andy Mukherjee's latest article is about fiscal persectives related to urban development:
Muni Bonds Can Help India Clean Up Urban Mess
Quote:
The humble municipal bond may offer India a ``huge'' window of opportunity to help clean up the ailing infrastructure of the country's vast urban landscape, says Fitch Ratings.

Already, some 285 million Indians live in 4,000 towns and cities. This number is only going to rise.

Municipalities can't rely on their creaking, 100-year-old water pipes and sewerage systems to serve the large and growing urban communities. Investments are needed, and urgently.

According to the World Bank, India will need $37 billion over the next decade to give city dwellers access to safe water and sanitation. The budgetary resources of India's federal and state governments are already stretched.

The larger Indian cities have some access to capital markets. They can borrow funds by pledging future revenue from property taxes, service charges and state grants. The Bangalore municipality sold bonds in 1997; a few others have followed suit.

Smaller municipalities' fund-raising abilities, however, are constrained by their lousy balance sheets. In the absence of sovereign guarantees -- which the government nowadays is reluctant to provide -- they will have to pay unaffordable junk- bond interest rates.

That's why the federal government's recent decision to encourage municipalities to take the structured-finance route makes a lot of sense.

Every state government will pool several municipal projects. Cash flows from these projects will go into a special bank account from which bond investors will be paid: If one project is mismanaged, others will still be generating cash.

U.S. Model

A government-funded ratings enhancement facility will offer additional credit protection. Guarantees will be purchased from financial institutions willing to underwrite the risk of a cash- flow shortfall.

Pool financing will ``provide a shot in the arm for the development of India's shallow municipal debt markets,'' Fitch said in a report this week.

The concept has been borrowed from the U.S., where state revolving funds leverage federal grants -- and state contributions -- by selling bonds. The proceeds are then lent to wastewater-treatment and drinking-water projects.

The revolving funds often also enhance the credit profile of municipal securities by providing guarantees.

Even in India, the model isn't exactly new.

Pooled financing has already been tried twice in India. However, with the federal government now setting aside 4 billion rupees ($98 million) for a Pooled Finance Development Fund, issuances are likely to gather momentum.

Mismanagement, Populism

For there to be a breakthrough in financing of urban amenities in India, sub-national projects must be legally secure for investors, and free from political interference.

That is the main challenge.

Even in increasingly popular public-private projects, where the presence of non-government shareholders assures creditors of superior corporate governance, complacency may be fatal.

In such partnerships, creditors ought to be wary of an unduly large presence of government-appointed board members.

That's because the private-sector investors, who have a stake in making the project perform, can be easily outgunned by the government nominees, who have absolutely no such incentive.

They may succumb to populism and cut prices of their services, leaving the project starved for cash.

A pool of debt offers protection from such mismanagement by spreading the risk over multiple projects.

``The pooled finance mechanism, with its benefits of aggregation and diversification, provides a powerful answer to the vexing question of capital shortage,'' Fitch said.

That doesn't take away from the need to fundamentally revamp the way civic services are delivered in India.

Fixing Civic Services

India's political rhetoric remains too focused on uplifting villages, when it ought to be preparing for massive urbanization.

Cities have very little financial autonomy: Mumbai, which contributes 400 billion rupees to the exchequer annually, gets back just 10 billion rupees in public investment.

The revenue that municipal organizations mobilize themselves largely consists of property tax, which is a pittance; and even this isn't collected effectively.

Then again, with a few exceptions, no Indian municipality has any public accountability. In most cases, the elected representatives are puppets, controlled by bureaucrats.

The other problem is abuse of subsidies.

Ultimately, users must pay for what they get. Consumers only bear two-fifths of the cost of water in India, with taxpayers expected to pick up the rest of the tab.

In democratic India, the poor will always have a strong moral case for subsidized access to urban services.

However, to ensure that the service provider is able to both meet its social obligations and maintain its assets, the cost of the handout must be recovered from other users.

Structured finance can be a force for the good in ending the drought in India's urban investments. It won't be a substitute for good governance.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: 17 May 2007 06:07 
Offline
BRF Oldie

Joined: 17 Apr 2006 20:02
Posts: 2548
suraj. monies apart, any insights into the apparently abysmal planning, enforcement & accountability capabilities?

there are two bit planners, third grade employees, how to tackle these systematically?


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: 17 May 2007 07:49 
Offline
Forum Moderator

Joined: 20 Jan 2002 12:31
Posts: 5568
The money issue is not autonomous to other considerations. In order to issue muni bonds, the local administration needs the fiscal independence and authority. In order for the bonds to be attractive, there should be some level of backing and credibility on the part of the issuer. Being a lameduck ineffectual local administration means neither the ability to issue bonds nor the ability to attract buyers.

The situation isn't necessarily an irredeemable chicken-and-egg one. Devolution of fiscal and administrative powers to local authorities would be the first step. The current scheme of taxes from city to centre -> centre disburses to state -> state hands out to city is not efficient at all. Nor is the system whereby all urban issues are dealt with by the state administration, who are much more powerful than the city administration.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: 18 May 2007 07:50 
Offline
BRF Oldie

Joined: 17 Apr 2006 20:02
Posts: 2548
Suraj.
that pooling, they are talking about, it is unclear to me whether it is pooling several projects within one city or if it is pooling of projects across the cities. in anycase both types of pooling is already done to approach WB & such. But I am sure, you are aware of the opposition to the impositions of WB. Rationalization of services' prices for eg. But then this is all done through the state. My understanding is reforms are not mandated to grant credit but are suggestions. As long as the bank gets money back, i doubt if they are going to raise any serious hulla over reforms. i believe that currently the municipalities just do the bare minimum officially to keep the game running, rest all is going unaccounted. For eg everybody pays property tax in one form or the other, but what goes in the books is only the minimum required.

But as you say if you put the municipalities directly on the market, to even begin to be creditworthy reforms will become necessary. But is it politically possible?

Also, I also have certain doubts about the competencies in cities' ability to engineer solutions. What type of people sit in town planning and as engineers in road corporations for example. How current is their knowledge. What types of pubs they access. how many papers they present. where is urban planning's KRail - raksha kavach or jhunjhunwala WLL? some solution which solved a very local problem well. shanghai we will make, singapore we will make is ok. where is bombay?

can going to markets fix this?


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: 18 May 2007 23:27 
Offline
Forum Moderator

Joined: 20 Jan 2002 12:31
Posts: 5568
Muni bonds are offered by a single authority, typically the city or state. Even a utility that serves multiple wards (e.g. BEST in Bombay) may issue bonds. These require fiscal discipline and proper project management, since a higher risk will entail them having to issue a higher coupon rate (interest payable) on the bond, and they'll also have trouble actually selling the bonds if buyers are cautious about the credibility of the issuing agency.

An asset management company (e.g. Reliance Capital or Birla) can in turn bundle a collection of muni bonds (which may receive tax benefits, as they often do in the US) and sell them as a muni bond fund or money market fund.

Bond issuances are not done primarily for maintenance work, but for capital expenditure that the authority cannot pay for through its own earnings , or through grants from the centre. It may be the case that 'even with a bond, the authority may not be doing anything worthwhile, though they can pay back the principal and interest' but that's primarily a rhetorical argument.

There are significant fiscal considerations over the life of a bond that requires the issuer to take care about its own administration, just as a person also deals with if (s)he takes out a home or car loan. It may get away once, but next time around they issue a bond offering, they will be constrained to offer a much higher coupon to balance the greater risk associated with it - a rate so high they cannot even issue it perhaps. That is how the market works - it will essentially price in the risk associated with any venture, and that is the price a municipal authority would have to pay, when it turns to the market to obtain the money it needs to invest in capital expenditure, e.g. new roads, pipelines, sewage facilities etc.

Those cities that do actually have an effective administation will reap huge rewards with this capability, since they can invest in capital projects beyond the constrains of the low property tax revenues or central/state grants they receive. Other cities will either have to keep up or people will start leaving them for the better ones.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: 29 May 2007 17:38 
Offline
BRF Oldie

Joined: 08 Aug 2006 18:43
Posts: 6685
How urbanisation watered down the natural wealth

Quote:
P. Oppili
Image
WHAT REMAINS: The remnant of Koyembedu wetland. — Photo: K. Pichumani

CHENNAI : Chennai and its suburbs once boasted of over 100 small and big waterbodies. A majority of them have been gradually destroyed due to a combination of hectic urbanisation and anthropogenic interferences.

The city's important waterbodies include the Adyar Estuary, Adambakkam lake, Ambattur lake, Chitlapakkam lake, Ennore creek, Korattur swamp, Koyambedu marshland, Madhavaram and Manali jheels, Pulicat lake and Vyasarpadi Lake besides Buckingham Canal, Cooum and Adyar Rivers and Otteri Nullah.

The wetlands played important roles as groundwater recharging units, natural drain-off mechanisms during monsoon and natural habitat for fish, birds and other aquatic life, said K. V. Sudhakar, secretary, Madras Naturalists Society.

The wetlands are also a haven for bird-watchers and ornithologists. For instance, the Adyar estuary once attracted more than 100 species of birds. Even the doyen of Indian Ornithology, the late Dr. Salim Ali, had stressed the need for protecting the creek not only for the sake of birds but also for the benefit of human beings. Sadly, only a small portion survives today and inlet and outlet channels for seawater have been clogged, Mr. Sudhakar said.

Another classic example is the slow disappearance of Manali jheel ecosystem on the northern fringes of the city. V.Guruswamy, a naturalist overseeing winged visitors at both Madhavaram and Manali jheels, said activities such as release of untreated effluents, drainage water, poaching and illegal creation of a graveyard had reduced the actual jheel area to a great extent.

In Madhavaram jheel, effluents from a nearby government dairy unit are being systematically released into the southern end, unleashing chaos on the aquatic life. The situation is no better in the northern portions of the jheel, laments Mr. Guruswamy. A tomb erected illegally some time ago for a union leader has set a bad precedent with more and more people using the place to bury or burn dead bodies. Now a compound wall has been constructed around the burial site.

In Mr Guruswamy's assessment, failing drastic salvage efforts, the chances of the Manali jheel surviving are slim. He suggests strengthening the embankment, controlling poaching, suspending the release of drainage and prohibiting cattle grazing. Enlisting local support through awareness initiatives was also imperative for any conservation effort to succeed, he said.

The cascading effect of man-made devastation has had an impact of the avifauna population. With the jheels reeling under severe disturbances, the bird population at the Simpsons factory in Sembium has come down drastically. A total of 53 species of wetland and wetland-oriented birds were reported at the jheels until recently, he said.

Naturalists pointed out that the last wetland that died on the pedestal of development was the Koyambedu marshland. About 15 years ago the area used to have a lot of wild growth attracting a large number of birds. During monsoon, rainwater used to get stored in the marsh and it helped in maintaining the groundwater table in the western parts of the city. A few years ago, the marshland was taken over by the Government for housing the vegetable and fruit markets and bus terminus.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: 01 Jun 2007 16:56 
Offline
BRF Oldie

Joined: 22 Nov 2001 12:31
Posts: 2392
Location: Ahmedabad, India --- Bring JurySys in India
Cities should be REQUIRED to charge say 0.5% of current mkt apparised value of land as wealth tax, and use the money for roads, sweage, water, education of useful subjects like Maths, English, weapon-use etc, basic medicine etc.

The above land tax rate should be unform all over India, or else cities will enter into compettition to get investors and thus tax rate will reduce and so will service.

Only border areas should get funding from center for local roads etc. Otherwise, all district shiuld raise all the money they need from above tax ONLY.

Cities and states should get ZERO from income tax. Income tax is on the place where income is reported, not where income/goods are generated. eg a Company with factories all over India earns say Rs 1000cr, and if its head quarter is in Mumbai, then as per tax 'records', all income will get appear as if it was generated in mumbai.

The income tax income should be used ONLY for military.

-----

Kakkaji wrote:
SBajwa wrote:
IAS and IPS along with judiciary is defunct eating up public money without providing adequate protection, healthcare or even basic education about nutrition.


Rahul Mehta would say:

AWMTA :)


Indeed AWMTA :) :D


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: 01 Jun 2007 18:48 
Offline
BRF Oldie

Joined: 22 Nov 2001 12:31
Posts: 2392
Location: Ahmedabad, India --- Bring JurySys in India
Quote:
4. Why do people go to big cities? because of oppurtunity! move oppurtunity back to village. Give reliance, tata, etc big tax breaks for agri related industry in villages, model should be such that 5-10 acres of these small scall industries should suffice instead of 500-5000 acres that are acquired forcefully by police these days. Watch out another outflux of villagers to cities.


The companies will on paper show that goods are made in villages in actually make them in cities. So GoI will lose taxes and no employment will go to villages.

---

The biggest problem of village is law-order. LAw-order in villages is much worse compared to cities and so businesses dont want to move to villages. Solution? TRIVIAL, improve law-order in villages. How? TRIVIAL. Improve police/courts. How? MAHA-TRIVIAL but OST (OST = outside the scope of the thread).

---

Quote:
So what if people migrate from village to cities?


Nothing wrong per se. Except that most people who move haev no money to rent a good small flat, and so end up living in slums (where they pay rent too to neta/policemen/judges and criminals etc) or worse, end up living on foothpaths. eg some 50% of mumbabi lives in slums and on top of that, some 5% to 10% sleeps on pavements. This is a very demeaning life.

Solution? TRIVIAL. Reduce land prices in cities. How? TRIVIAL, impose say 2% tax on mkt value of land appraised every 2-3 years. So hoarding of land will reduce. Land price will fall, and houses will become cheap. (Today, in cities some 50% to 90% of cost of house is land cost).

---

One reason why villages lag in progress is that farmers by law are prohibited to build private roads, residential complexes and commercial complexes on their land. GoI will confiscate their land if a farmer were to make a road etc on his land with his own money. So land prices in villages stay low, and the farmers are poorer.

In cities, people have much lesser restrictions on the way they can use the lands they own. Hence they get more value from their land, and more incomes.

Solution to the problem is TRIVIAL --- remove use restrictions. And impose a higher tax rate on the land which has construction on it. And let there be zero land tax for on the landwith crops. And use the some of the tax on construction land to subsdize crops so that land-owners will deploy more lands for crops. In agriculture, over-production is better than under-production, or even a possibility of under-production. So even if this subsidy results into over-production, it should be welcome.

.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: 01 Jun 2007 18:59 
Offline
BRF Oldie

Joined: 22 Nov 2001 12:31
Posts: 2392
Location: Ahmedabad, India --- Bring JurySys in India
Prosperity of many cities comes from ruins from rest of India.

eg Delhi. The neta-babu in Ministries control al mines, oil-wells, railways, defense deals, national highways etc. So any one who wants a contracts from these depts will have to pay bribes to these neta-babu and this money from rest of India moves into Delhi. Same way, every plump case eventually lends in Supreme Court, and so SCjs or their pet friend/relative lawyers make crores of rupees as fees, bribes whatever.

Now these neta-babu-judges and judge-relative lawyers will spend money in rsturants, X-rated places which I cant mention and buys tons of property. And to a considerable extent, they will prefer to buy property in vicinity i.e. Delhi.

IOW, because Delhi has political control, it is extracting pound of flesh from rest of India, and that makes it richer.

---

Consider Mumbai. Banks create money from thin air. And almost all banks ' head quarters are in mumbai. The decisions related with large loans, where newly created money (M3) goes are taken by people in head offices. So industrialsts too prefer to stay close to them in Mumbai (Or Delhi, which too has control over Banks via Finance Ministry). And these some of the loan money gets into private pockets of bank officers and owners of companies, and most of them are in mumbai. So mumbai will become richer.

But newly created money depreciates value of existing money. So in effect, mumbai is getting wealth from rest of India using this money creating system.

---

Consider all state capitals. Just as delhi extorts monery from India, the state capital cities extort money from their respective states.

--


So to a considerable extent, wealth in cities is due to cornering of political power and money creating power into few hands. Solutions are TRIVIAL, but outside the scope of the thread.

.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: 01 Jun 2007 19:12 
Offline
BRF Oldie

Joined: 22 Nov 2001 12:31
Posts: 2392
Location: Ahmedabad, India --- Bring JurySys in India
Quote:
A simple fix is to disallow slums voting rights, no legal residence no legal vote. Who is going to bell the cat?


Slums exist because the slum dwellers pay rent to local neta, babu, judges, policemen etc. To be more accurate, the slum dwellers, even if the slum is on GoI land, pay rent to the local slumlord, who is DIRECTLY appointed by local CM or some Minister-in-charge. The slumlord keeps a share, but much of it goes to local police inspector or local Talhsildar, who keeps some and passes the rest to his boss. It will go all the way to CM or Mayor depending on whether land belongs to State Govt or Municipality.

The judges make money as follow : some time or another, some eviction notice will come, and the slumlord will need a lawyer to get a stay order. The honor of helping poor invariably goes to some lawyer who also happens to be judges relative. So while techinically, it is the judges' relative-lawyers who make money from slums, reality is anyone's guess

---

So slums exist NOT due to vote-bank but plain money.

---

Intellectuals are always looking for oppurtunities to denigerate us commons, and denigerate democracy. So they WRONGLY explain democracy as a cause behind slums. And they also project us commons slum-dwellers as free-loaders. In reality, the slum-dwellers are NOT free loaders as they do indeed pay rent to neta-babu-judges via slum-lord. But intellectuals hide this fact, and say other way.

.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: 02 Jun 2007 04:54 
Offline
BRFite

Joined: 23 May 2004 11:31
Posts: 180
Location: BRF's tailgate party, aka, Nukkad thread
Rahul Mehta wrote:
Income tax is on the place where income is reported, not where income/goods are generated. eg a Company with factories all over India earns say Rs 1000cr, and if its head quarter is in Mumbai, then as per tax 'records', all income will get appear as if it was generated in mumbai.


as usual..very interesting thoughts RM. ..i was thinking on these lines when i posted on the billlionare thread and backward regions couple of days ago..

the point is corporate india sells goods and services to all of india including rural india...but the corporate income taxes are paid thru headquarters in cities...and as most of the goods are manufactured(my guess) in industrial belts in and around metros/big cities, excise taxes are also paid thru urban/suburban areas....naturally, most of the investments from GoI/GoS(state) go to cities and industrial zones around them, which is great and well appreciated.....but very little goes to towns and villages...and whatever is invested in these places is almost thought as "subsidising" of villages by cities..

rural market is huge..must be atleast a hundred billion dollars...rural india has become net importer of high value finished goods and services...and is exporter of relatively cheap foodgrains/pulses and labor....i bet rural india runs a huge trade deficit with urban india....this definetly accentuates urban-rural divide and hence puts migrating pressures


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 198 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5  Next

All times are UTC + 5:30 hours


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 6 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group