Indian Urban Development and Public Policy Discussion

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JayS
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Re: Indian Urban Development and Public Policy Discussion

Postby JayS » 22 May 2018 11:45

I saw news on TV yesterday that the funds utilization for Smart Cities project is mere 1.8%...!!! Too many road blocks. Especially in the non-BJP states. MP, GJ and MH are top three so far.

Looks like before upgrading cities we need to upgrade city admin people's mentality. I often feel in case of BLR that the civic admin folks grossly lack the mentality of planning for a Metro city. Small tinkering here and there. No big/bold projects for solving key issues. Existing projects grossly lack in scale and implementation too slow. No proper implementation of the CDP. No urgency seen to tackle any of the key issues like water, traffic, drainage, pollution etc. The latest CDP was also more like Copy paste of previous version with all numbers scaled up but no real change.

Vasu
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Re: Indian Urban Development and Public Policy Discussion

Postby Vasu » 22 May 2018 14:49

India's urban local bodies are thoroughly ill-equipped to do things differently, so it is no surprise that something so forward-looking and technology-intensive as Smart Cities is sputtering in their hands. I believe the extreme level of politicization is also huge part of the problem.

Lack of funding remains a huge issue, and for a country that is staring at unprecended urbanization, its a matter of grave concern that its urban local bodies remain unable to raise funds and manage their finances. Apart from a Pune or Hyderabad which have managed to raise a few hundred crores between them, no investor would perhaps buy a single bond of anyone else.

Better Disclosures Key To Developing Municipal Bond Market In India: Moody’s

Yet another attempt to kick-start India’s municipal bond market has sputtered. After Pune raised funds via municipal bonds in June 2017, the market has seen little action. Since then, Hyderabad is the only other municipal corporation to tap the markets to raise Rs 200 crore in February 2018.

Rating agency Moody’s Investors Service says this is a consequence of limited information available on the finances of these municipalities.

Lack of publicly available information on indicators including fiscal performance, debt and contingent liabilities is preventing proper credit assessment of these bodies, Moody’s said in a report dated May 9. The rating agency added that weak governance continues to be a concern as well. Together these factors are preventing a pick-up in issuances.

In 2015, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) eased rules for the issue of municipal bonds but also sought more timely disclosure of financial information. Typically, municipal corporations tend to release financial information with a significant lag, which leads to uncertainty among potential investors.

With the exception of the larger capital cities that are interested in accessing capital markets, most municipal corporations do not make their accounts public, said Moody’s while adding that Indian urban local bodies continue to lag behind their global peers in terms of disclosure standards.

Apart from the lack of adequate information, some regulator roadblocks also persist, said Moody’s. This includes restrictions on the maximum interest rates that municipal corporations can offer, and unfavourable rules regarding income tax on interest earned by bondholders.

The rating agency added that municipal bodies also typically have a weak track record of timely project implementation and completion, which in turn weakens projected cash flows. This lowers the perceived credibility of municipal bonds, said Moody’s.

JayS
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Re: Indian Urban Development and Public Policy Discussion

Postby JayS » 22 May 2018 19:52

Vasu wrote:India's urban local bodies are thoroughly ill-equipped to do things differently, so it is no surprise that something so forward-looking and technology-intensive as Smart Cities is sputtering in their hands. I believe the extreme level of politicization is also huge part of the problem.

Lack of funding remains a huge issue, and for a country that is staring at unprecended urbanization, its a matter of grave concern that its urban local bodies remain unable to raise funds and manage their finances. Apart from a Pune or Hyderabad which have managed to raise a few hundred crores between them, no investor would perhaps buy a single bond of anyone else.

Better Disclosures Key To Developing Municipal Bond Market In India: Moody’s

Yet another attempt to kick-start India’s municipal bond market has sputtered. .


Who in their sane mind will buy bonds from MunCorps..? In India these local bodies are the most corrupt form of governances. First they will need to build credibility through transparency and performance (which I do not see happening). Otherwise we might end up with the kind of problems that Chinese local bodies are dealing with, with excessive debts. I personally have zero trust that local admin bodies in our cities can use the money raised through bonds properly. Most likely they will use the money to fund more scams like garbage collection, shabby road construction, building unnecessary flyovers etc and finally end up broke, only to have to be bailed out by State and Central governments. Just look at the utilization of money received through schemes like JNNURM.

Suraj
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Re: Indian Urban Development and Public Policy Discussion

Postby Suraj » 22 May 2018 23:54

Vasu wrote:India's urban local bodies are thoroughly ill-equipped to do things differently, so it is no surprise that something so forward-looking and technology-intensive as Smart Cities is sputtering in their hands. I believe the extreme level of politicization is also huge part of the problem.

Lack of funding remains a huge issue, and for a country that is staring at unprecended urbanization, its a matter of grave concern that its urban local bodies remain unable to raise funds and manage their finances. Apart from a Pune or Hyderabad which have managed to raise a few hundred crores between them, no investor would perhaps buy a single bond of anyone else.

Funding and governance are interrelated. Cities can fund their needs using municipal bonds, but they cannot offer competitive coupon rates if their perceived risk levels are too high, and higher coupons simply result in high interest rate burden if cities can't implement what they spend the money on, in time and under budget.

Barely 1% of funding needs are currently met by muni bonds. Retail investors cannot purchase them. While central government bonds are in extremely high demand, the muni bond market has a long way to go. Foreign investment is restricted to central, state and corporate bonds, and it's not clear investment in local muni bonds is available to foreign investors.
Foreign bond investors get access to $16 bn of additional debt in India
Municipal bonds of Indian cities
India's central bank lifts key restriction on foreign investors in bond market

Sachin
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Re: Indian Urban Development and Public Policy Discussion

Postby Sachin » 14 Jun 2018 12:30


chetak
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Re: Indian Urban Development and Public Policy Discussion

Postby chetak » 17 Jun 2018 09:39

Centre unlikely to introduce National Education Policy soon




Centre unlikely to introduce National Education Policy soon

Kundan Jha
June 16, 2018,

‘The Ministry of Human Resources Development does not want to attract controversy ahead of the 2019 general elections’.


The nation will have to wait till the next term of the government for getting a new National Education Policy (NEP) as the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) is unlikely to introduce the NEP during the remaining tenure of its government, sources close to the MHRD have said.

According to sources, with the general elections round the corner, the Centre is unlikely to take any risk by introducing the NEP, as several provisions in it, particularly related to the role of private players in the education sector and the stress on traditional forms of knowledge, might attract unnecessary controversy.

A source in the MHRD told The Sunday Guardian: “The MHRD is unlikely to introduce the NEP this year as several provisions in it could be contentious and might lead to protests against the government. Therefore, the Ministry is unlikely to take any risk of getting into such a situation ahead of the 2019 elections.”

A committee headed by former ISRO chief K. Kasturirangan was supposed to submit its report in December 2017, but since its inception, the committee assigned to draft the NEP has been given many extensions and the last one was given in March this year. The committee’s last three-month extension expired this month (June), but it has not presented the draft yet.

Though the government claims that the drafting committee is still working on the NEP, sources in the MHRD said that the viewpoints of all stakeholders have already been received and the draft is almost completed. “Due to fear of controversy ahead of 2019 general elections, the MHRD is using diversionary tactics to escape the implementation of the NEP,” the same source cited above said.

Earlier, the HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar’s predecessor Smriti Irani had appointed the first panel headed by former Cabinet Secretary T.S.R. Subramaniam to draft the NEP. The Subramanian panel submitted a 200-page report in November 2016 containing about 90 recommendations to uplift the standards of the primary and higher education sector. However, the report attracted wide criticism and protests against the MHRD ministry. Later, the Subramanian committee was replaced by the Kasturirangan committee.

“In the NEP, the focus is on girls’ education, strengthening public institutions and promotion of traditional knowledge. Also, special attention is given on technical and skill-based education,” the source said.

The Sunday Guardian has learnt that school education could see a paradigm shift after the implementation of the NEP which stresses on the need for affordable education.

Implementation of a new NEP was part of the BJP’s 2014 election manifesto. The existing NEP is two decades old as it was framed in 1986 and revised in 1992.


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