New Delhi, Jan 13 (IANS): Manipur has become the fourth Indian state to successfully undertake "Urban Local Bodies (ULB)" reforms stipulated by the Union Finance Ministry.
With this, the state has become eligible to mobilise additional financial resources of Rs 75 crore through Open Market Borrowings. Permission for the same was issued by the Department of Expenditure on January 11.
Manipur has now joined the group of Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Telangana, who have completed this reform.
On completion of Urban Local Bodies reform, these four states have been granted additional borrowing permission of Rs 7,481 crore.
Reforms in the Urban Local Bodies and the urban utilities reforms are aimed at financial strenghtening of ULBs in the states and to enable them to provide better public health and sanitation services. Economically rejuvenated ULBs will also be able to create good civic infrastructure.
The reforms stipulated by the Department of Expenditure to achieve these objectives are: The state will notify floor rates of property tax in ULBs, floor rates of user charges in respect of the provision of water supply, drainage and sewerage which reflect current costs/past inflation. The state is also required to put in place a system of periodic increase in floor rates of property tax/user charges in line with price increases.
In view of the resource requirement to meet the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic, the Centre had on May 17, 2020 enhanced the borrowing limit of the states by 2 percent of their Gross States Domestic Product (GSDP). Half of this special dispensation was linked to undertaking citizen-centric reforms by the states.
The states get permission to raise additional funds equivalent to 0.25 percent of GSDP on completion of reforms in each sector. The four citizen centric areas identified for reforms were implementation of 'One Nation, One Ration Card' system, ease of doing business reform, urban local body/utility reforms and power sector reforms.
So far 10 states have implemented the One Nation One Ration Card system, 7 states have done ease of doing business reforms, and 4 states have done local body reforms. Total additional borrowing permission issued so far to the states who have done the reforms stands at Rs 54,265 crore.