The Union Minister of Housing and Urban Affairs, Hardeep Singh Puri launched draft guidelines for a new ranking system of cities based on finance and beauty. The competition is aimed at identifying and promoting financially happy cities and improving municipal finances.
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Cities have until January 15 to submit their comments before the guidelines are finalised and issued by January 30. Applications for the competition will begin thereafter. It is open to over 4,500 urban local bodies.
The ministry has divided this competition into four categories based on population — cities with more than 4 million people, cities with one to 4 million people, cities with one lakh to 10 lakh people and then smaller villages.
- Through an all-India finance ranking, the ministry will track the financial performance and capacity of cities to encourage urban local bodies to improve performance.
- They will be judged on resource mobilisation, expenditure performance and fiscal governance. They would also look at a city’s budget per capita, property tax revenue, capital expenditure, digitisation of accounting and auditing timeliness, among other criteria.
- Cities are expected to submit their data to the ministry, based upon which they will be awarded on the national and state levels.
- The ministry will have a state-wise focus for the city beautification rankings. They will hand guidelines to state governments to recognise wards for their beautification and encourage healthy competition between them as a management tool.