Urban Local Bodies reforms programmes

The main thrust of the urban renewal under Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission(JNNURM) is to ensure improvement in urban governance so that Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) and parastatal agencies become financially sound with enhanced credit rating and ability to access market capital for undertaking new programmes and expansion of services. To achieve this objective, State Governments, Urban Local Bodies and parastatal agencies are required to accept implementation of an agenda of reforms which broadly fall into two categories:-
i) Mandatory reforms
ii) Optional reforms
The State Governments and the ULBs including parastatal agencies where necessary would execute Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) with Government of India indicating their commitment to implement identified reforms. MoA would spell out specific milestones to be achieved for each item of reform. Signing of MoA will be a necessary condition to access Central assistance.
The State level mandatory reforms include transfer of functions listed under the Twelfth (12) schedule of constitution to ULBs, Constitution of District Planning Committee and Metropolitan Planning Committee (where ever necessary), Reform in Rent Control, Stamp Duty rationalization to 5%, Repeal of Urban Land Ceiling and Regulation Act (ULCRA), Enactment of Community Participation Law and Public Disclosure Law.
The ULBs level mandatory reforms includes e-Governance set up, Shift to Accrual based Double Entry Accounting, Property Tax (85% coverage and 90% collection efficiency), 100% cost recovery (Water Supply and Solid Waste), Internal Earmarking of funds for services to Urban Poor and provision of Basic Services to Urban Poor.
The Optional Reforms at ULB level includes Introduction of Property title certification, Revision of Building Bye-laws – streamlining the Approval Process, Revision of Bye-laws for Rain water harvesting, Earmarking 25% developed land for Economically Weaker Section (EWS)/Lower Income Group (LIG), Simplification of legal and procedural framework for conversion of agricultural land to non-agricultural purposes, Introduction of computerized process of registration of land and property, Bye-laws on reuse of recycled water, Administrative Reforms, Structural Reforms and Encouraging Public Private Partnership (PPP).
MoA has been signed with all the 65 Mission Cities (except Porbandar) setting out the timelines for implementation of abovementioned reforms. 4 Mission cities of Madhya Pradesh namely, Bhopal, Jabalpur, Indore and Ujjain have also signed MoA for implementing these reforms. The States/ULBs are at various stages of implementation of reforms as per the timelines in the respective MoAs. MoA regarding Porbandar is under negotiation .
The hundred days agenda of the Ministry refers to concerted effort to include cities with population of 5 lakh and above as per 2001 census as Mission city under JNNURM.

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