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MEDS-043: Dynamics of Urban Planning and Development

MEDS-043: Dynamics of Urban Planning and Development

IGNOU Solved Assignment Solution for 2021-22

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Assignment Code: MEDS-043/TMA/2021-22

Course Code: MEDS-043

Assignment Name: Dynamics of Urban Planning and Development

Year: 2021-2022

Verification Status: Verified by Professor

Marks: 100

Q1) What is sustainable development? Explain various indicators of sustainable development.

Ans) In many forums, seminars, and workshops, the term "sustainable development" has become a buzzword. It can now be found in a lot of environmental and economics literature. With the velocity of economic growth, the call for sustainable development is getting increasingly louder. Throughout history, most modern human organisations have evolved in ways that are at best ignorant to environmental health and, at worst, actively hostile to it. The Brundtl and Commission originated the phrase "sustainable development," which is defined as development that "meets the requirements of the present without jeopardising future generations' ability to fulfil their own needs."

Sustainable development is described as balancing the satisfaction of human needs with the conservation of the natural environment in such a way that these needs can be addressed not only now, but in the future as well. Sustainable development is a resource-use pattern that attempts to meet human needs while also protecting the environment. The field of sustainable development is organised into four broad categories: social, economic, environmental, and institutional development. The first three dimensions are concerned with essential sustainability concepts, while the fourth component is concerned with key institutional policy and capacity challenges.

Indicators of Sustainable Development

Sustainable development indicators are more like indices that represent the state of general concepts or social goals like human development, sustainable development, quality of life, or socioeconomic wellbeing. Early warnings concerning non-sustainable economic activity and environmental damage are provided via indicators. They are the 'nutshell' indications that policymakers like. Following the Rio Earth Summit's request for sustainable development indicators, a slew of new indicators have emerged. The following are important signs of long-term development:

Gross Sustainable Development Product

Green accounting is a common physical or monetary averaging approach among other aggregation methods. It is the most widely used method. Green GDP has been renamed Gross Sustainable Development Product (GSDP), which is defined as the overall value of production after taking into account a region's social and natural capital over a given time period. It is intended to take the place of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) as the primary indicator of a country's economic performance.

It considers the following factors:

  1. The economic impact/costs of environmental degradation

  2. Impacts of changes in quality systems on national income and wealth

  3. Global concerns and their impacts on the economy and ecology and society

  4. The welfare, economic development, and quality of life of future generations

  5. Expenditures on pollution abatement and clean-ups

  6. The status of each resource and the stocks and productive capacities

  7. The depreciation or appreciation of natural assets

  8. The ecological processes and biological diversity

  9. The costs of economic growth, resources uses of present and future generations.

The measurement of GSDP demonstrates that current and future demand levels may be sustained without depleting and depreciating the quality and quantity of services. It outlines the problems' remedies as well as the steps to take, such as:

  1. Invest in technology, R and D

  2. Increase productivity and end-use efficiency

  3. Modify social services, educational programs

  4. Slow down or increase economic growth

  5. Remediate components of major quality systems; and

  6. Rectify present shortcomings of income and wealth accounts.

The measurement of GSDP also provides the public, government, and industry with an accurate and reliable signal about the rate and direction of economic growth. It determines environmental, health, and social quality, as well as sustainable and unsustainable levels of resource and environmental usage, the success or failure of sustainable development policies and practises, and resource scarcity. A sustainable local community's principal purpose is to meet its fundamental resource needs in ways that can be sustained in the future.

Environmental Kuznets curve

As countries' incomes rise, some forms of pollution appear to worsen first, then improve. The poorest and wealthiest countries in the world have relatively clean ecosystems, whereas middle-income countries have the most polluted. This pattern of pollution and income has been dubbed a 'Environmental Kuznets Curve' due to its resemblance to the pattern of inequality and income described by Simon Kuznets. (EKC). Using a straightforward empirical technique, Grossman and Krueger and the World Bank popularised this theory. Data on ambient air and water quality in cities throughout the world are regressed in GDP per capita and other city and nation variables using a polynomial. Then plot the fitted pollution levels as a function of GDP per capita to show that many of the plots are inverse U-shaped, rising and then declining.

The maxima of these expected pollution-income pathways differ by pollutant, but 'in most cases, they occur before a country reaches a $8000 per capita income' in 1985 dollars. The EKC depicts the relationship between environmental deterioration and per capita income in simple terms. EKC proponents believe that pollution and degradation rise during the early stages of economic expansion. However, if per capita income reaches a certain level, the trend reverses, and economic expansion leads to environmental improvement. As a result, the indicator of environmental effect is an inverted U-shaped function of per capita income.

Researchers have looked at a wide range of contaminants for evidence of the EKC pattern in the years following these initial observations. It includes lead emissions from automobiles, deforestation, greenhouse gas emissions, toxic waste, and indoor air pollution, among other things. Varied econometric methodologies, such as higher-order polynomials, fixed and random effects, splines, semi- and non-parametric procedures, and different patterns of interactions and exponents, have been tested by some researchers. Others have looked at a variety of jurisdictions and historical periods, as well as controlling variables. It encompasses indicators of corruption, democratic liberties, international trade openness, and even income disparity (returning to Kuznets's original concept). However, some commonalities appear throughout different techniques.

Pollution caused by local externalities begins to improve at the lowest income levels, roughly speaking. Examples include the formation of faecal coli in water and indoor household air pollution. Pollution appears to decline continuously with economic expansion for several of these local externalities, with no discernible turning point. This is not a criticism of the EKC; pollution had to rise at some point in order to fall with income, and there is simply no data from the earlier period. Pollutants with widely spread externalities, on the other hand, tend to have no turning points or even no turning points at all, as pollution appears to rise in lockstep with income. One such example is carbon emissions. This isn't necessarily a rejection of the EKC; the turning points for these pollutants may occur at income levels higher than those found in today's wealthiest economies.

Another typical empirical finding is that individual pollutant turning points varies among countries. In empirical methodologies that estimate one fixed turning point for each particular pollutant, this difference manifests as instability. Countries that are the first to deal with a pollution have higher income levels than those that follow, maybe because the following countries benefit from the early movers' science and engineering teachings. Most academics have taken care not to systematically interpret these reduced-form empirical correlations, and to recognise that economic growth does not always lead to environmental gains.

All of the studies leave out country factors that are linked to income and pollution levels, the most important of which is the strictness of environmental regulations. In rich or poor countries, the EKC pattern does not show evidence of market failures or efficient policies. Rather, there are a number of underlying mechanisms, some of which have been theoretically modelled.

Social Indicators of Sustainable development

The United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) defined social indicators of sustainable development in 1995, and they are roughly classified as follows:

  1. Poverty: Poverty is one of the most important measures of long-term progress. Nations with a high poverty rate will be unable to maintain their current level of development.

  2. Governance: The second most important measure of long-term development is governance. Good governance is a necessary component of long-term development. Corruption and crime are two subthemes of governance in sustainable development.

  3. Health: Mortality, health care delivery, nutritional condition, and health status and risks are the major indicators of long-term health care.

  4. Education: In terms of education, sustainable education encompasses educational levels as well as literacy.

  5. Demography: The population growth rate and the dependence ratio are the two most important demographic indicators for long-term development. High fertility rates and higher dependency ratios stifle growth.

As a result, achieving sustainable development targets becomes more challenging.

Q2) Explain key features of urban development policy of Brazil and South Africa

Ans) Features of Urban Development Policy of Brazil

Brazil is the largest country in South America, covering over half of the continent, and is the world's fifth most populous country (and fourth most populous democracy) with a population of 187 million people. Over the last few decades, Brazil has become increasingly urbanised. According to a census taken in 2000, over 80% of the population lives in cities. However, most of this urbanisation has been unequal; while population has expanded near state capitals and neighbouring municipalities of major metropolitan areas, smaller regions have seen negative growth rates. As a result, pockets of poverty have emerged, along with increased social marginalisation and environmental risks. In 1889, Brazil became a federated country. Throughout the twentieth century, the country went through stages of development in which the government attempted to influence society by manipulating urban space. Following Brasilia, the country was ruled by military commanders from 1964 to 1985, and there were no public presidential elections until 1990.

Beginning in the late 1970s, Brazil progressively restored to democratic government, and direct elections for state governorships were conducted in 1982. The nature of Brazil's urban development strategies has been actively impacted by this re-democratization movement.

The re-democratization process widened the political arena to include people from all walks of life who desired urban reform through direct action. The fight for urban reform started in the 1960s, when progressive segments of Brazilian society demanded structural changes to the legal regulation and usage of public land. The main topic of discussion was rural agrarian reform. However, the military revolution of 1964 established an authoritarian political regime (which lasted until 1984) that prevented these reforms from being implemented. In the 1970s and 1980s, urban reform issues resurfaced amid a period of slow and progressive political openness, during which social movements gained increased visibility and political clout and were able to develop their own vocabulary and social practise. On the basis of a new social ethic, the movement's demands were portrayed as rights in an attempt to rectify socioeconomic disparities. Brazil's metropolitan landscape had changed dramatically at the time. Between 1940 and 1991, there was a substantial rate of rural-urban migration, with the urban population increasing from 31.2 percent to 75 percent of the overall population.

Cities in Brazil grew up without essential infrastructure. The geographical segregation of neighbourhoods that had been largely neglected, lacked the basic requirements for adequacy, and evolved with the participation of the public authorities had major implications.

In 1988, the fight for urban reform was reignited. The battle of the movement was initially centred on local issues, such as housing demands. By the end of the military government, however, it had begun to embrace concepts of the right to a more social life: the concept of the city, the city of all people, a home beyond one's own home, a home accessible via paved roads, public facilities, schools, and transportation. The National Urban Reform Movement characterised urban reform in 1986 as a new social ethic that rejects the exploitation of the city as a source of profit for a few while impoverishing the others. As a result, this new social ethic politicises the argument about cities and establishes a vocabulary and political platform for urban social movements, in which access to the city is a right for all citizens, not just the wealthy.

Several organisations, movements, and professional organisations were drawn together in the conflict. The church, too, spoke out firmly in support of property's social role, which was a significant contribution in a very religious country like Brazil. The adoption of an internal regulation in the Constituent Assembly that allowed the use of public initiatives to offer revisions to the Brazilian Constitution of 1988 was the climax of these fights. More than 12 million signatures were collected for popular amendments that included the improvements already addressed. Conservatives contended that social justice principles were being used as an excuse to stifle the country's progress (development was a term long used to hide the issue of urban inequality) and that engaging in urban policy would give the state too much power.

While not all of the reform recommendations were included in the constitution, a few key ones were. Brazilian public rights began to guarantee not just private property and individual interests, but also the protection of community interests above the diverse uses of individual property after the popular amendment. Other accomplishments at the time included the affirmation and establishment of effective municipal autonomy, as well as the expansion of public participation in city management, both through direct institutional mechanisms such as plebiscites, referendums, popular initiatives, and public consultation, as well as other forms of direct participation such as councils, conferences, forums, and public hearings.

This guaranteed that the community was involved in the drafting of Master Plans, which are the most important urban planning tool for towns. They also opened the way for a slew of further reforms, including the inclusion of housing as a fundamental right in the Brazilian Constitution in 2000 and the passage of the City Statute in 2001. The City Statute is a Brazilian development statute that governs the Brazilian Constitution's chapter on urban policy, which was enacted in 1988. It establishes broad rules for promoting urban policy that must be followed by the federal government, state governments, and local governments. The following issues are particularly addressed in the City Statute:

  1. Criteria for municipalities to develop and apply Management Plans;

  2. Regulatory instruments for the use of and access to urban lands occupied by low-income people;

  3. And democratic city management instruments; public hearings; councils; and

  4. City conferences in national, state, and municipal plans.

These reforms have paved the way for a number of policy initiatives in Brazilian cities that include features of inclusion and sustainability. Curitiba, where the principle of planning for the poor first was incorporated to create a model of a clean and green city, Porto Allegre, where participatory budgeting enabled the city to set its priorities for the poor first, and Rio, where a massive upgradation programme of favelas (slums) is underway are all examples of these innovations made possible by a high degree of decentralisation, popular participation, and political comm As a result, Brazil's urbanisation storey is one of potential for how filth, poverty, and unfairness might be addressed via concerted effort by citizens and policymakers. It is not without its drawbacks. As a result, the country's urbanisation is accompanied with high levels of external and national debt. The country, however, still has the potential to become one of the world's fastest-growing economies.

Features of Urban Development Policy of South Africa

South Africa is another country that is quickly urbanising. Over 55 percent of the population lives in cities, and the current rate of urbanisation is estimated to be at 4.9 percent. The four metropolitan districts of Pretoria/Johannesburg, Durban, Cape Town, and Port Elizabeth account for the majority of this urban population (about 67 percent). The country also contains a number of medium-sized towns in the south and east, but the four metropolitan areas are the country's economic engines, accounting for approximately 80% of the country's GDP. Apartheid, which dominated the country, is visible in practically every element of South African cities, especially the larger ones.

Apartheid, along with the related town planning, transportation policies, and government systems maintained by economic forces, resulted in towns with exceptionally high levels of inequality and exclusion. As a result, there are low-density, well-served white neighbourhoods and spatially divided, severely overcrowded, poorly serviced black neighbourhoods. Black townships and housing, which is usually in the form of matchbox houses or shacks, are usually the worst in these cities. In cities such as Durban and Elizabeth, approximately half of the population lives in shanty dwellings. The majority of economic opportunities are concentrated in well-served areas of cities. Different authorities were in charge of different parts of the city. As a result, spatial segregation was a sign of unequal chances.

When apartheid ended in 1990 and the country launched on a truly democratic road, the key challenge in terms of urban development was to maintain the country's high growth trajectory while addressing the issue of systematic exclusion. Several pieces of legislation have been passed to make this goal a reality. As a result, the South African constitution recognises sufficient housing as a constitutional right. The Local Government Transition Act of 1996 tried to reconcile the disparate local governance systems, while the Development Facilitation Act of 1995 allows for rapid land development for urban growth as well as integrated city planning.

Local governments in South Africa are considered as being largely responsible for service delivery and local economic growth, similar to the Chinese system, while province governments are entrusted with redistribution and other functions. As a result, the majority of city governments are focused on attracting new investment and enhancing service delivery. The country has had great success organising events like the World Cup to improve its infrastructure and economic competitiveness.

The disadvantage of South Africa's urbanisation tale is that apartheid no longer exists in its original form, but it is still manifested in significant ways in terms of housing, services, and economic and other opportunities. The 'Soweto' system, in which cities were regarded the preserves of the wealthy and blacks whose access to the city was otherwise restricted were brought in primarily to serve as labour, has been dismantled. It is now possible to migrate for free. As a result, some of the contradictions have come to light, as seen by the growing occupation of public lands by poor black people, resulting in an increase in informal dwellings. As a result, new difficulties are arising in South African cities.

Q3) Critically explain state level community participation law and public disclosure law.

Ans) Community Participation Law: State Level Reform

The Community Participation Law (CPL) is aimed at strengthening municipal governments by:

  1. Institutionalizing citizen participation.

  2. Introducing the concept of Area Sabhas (consisting of all registered voters of a polling booth) in urban areas.

Involving residents in municipal duties such as determining priorities, budgeting provisions, and applying pressure to ensure that existing regulations are followed, among other things. JNNURM proposes that a new tier of decision-making in the municipality, below the ward level, called the Area Sabha, be established. Through Area Sabha representatives, who will be community representatives, all Area Sabhas in a ward will be linked to the ward level committee. Thus, in a municipality, there will be at least three levels of decision-making: the municipality, the ward committee, and the Area Sabhas. Furthermore, for administrative purposes, states may choose to create an intermediary level that clusters many wards into a regional structure between the ward and the municipality.

The CPL is a JNNURM-mandated reform that refers to providing suitable provisions in state-level municipal statutes for the creation of a three/four-tiered structure. States must either implement a separate CPL or make suitable adjustments to their current municipal legislation under the JNNURM. These statutes must assure a clear definition of each tier's functions, obligations, and powers, as well as appropriate devolution of funds, functions, and functionaries to these levels. Citizen participation is critical to the effectiveness and strength of democratic systems. It gives citizens a voice in the development and execution of policies and programmes. While many platforms and mechanisms for public engagement have grown spontaneously, they must be institutionalised in order to be effective and long-lasting. The CPL intends to formalise such platforms/systems for community engagement. It will have the following benefits if executed correctly:

  1. It will aid in the consolidation of democracy, the facilitation of efficiency and long-term socioeconomic progress, and the promotion of pro-poor measures.

  2. It will aid in the improvement of urban governance and service provision.

  3. It will increase government openness and accountability.

  4. It will increase the quality of decision-making because it will be based on a thorough understanding of local facts and needs.

  5. It's important for regional planning bodies like the District Planning Committee and the Metropolitan Planning Committee, which both demand grassroots citizen participation in planning.

  6. Citizens will have a say in how information is exchanged, rules are established, resources are allocated, and plans/programs are carried out.

Public Disclosure Law: State Level Reforms

The purpose of public disclosure is to increase openness and accountability in municipal governance by making information on employees, administrative structure, finances, and activities available to the public. The JNNURM proposes enacting a Public Disclosure Law (PDL) to ensure that quarterly performance data is made available to all stakeholders. The Public Disclosure Law's main goals are as follows:

  1. To offer citizens and other stakeholders with accurate financial and operational information on various municipal services.

  2. To encourage the municipality's supply of public goods and services to be more efficient and consistent.

  3. By transmitting information in a systematic, regular, and consistent manner, comparisons over time (of a given ULB) and space (between ULBs) can be made.

"JNNURM requires municipalities and parastatal organisations to disseminate information about the municipality and its operations on a periodic basis," according to the JNNURM reform toolkit. Such information includes, but is not limited to, statutorily audited quarterly performance statements covering operating and financial parameters as well as service levels for various municipal services."

Making suitable provisions in state-level municipal legislation and/or other state-level statutes to ensure that these disclosures are mandatory is referred to as enacting the Public Disclosure Law.

For the following reasons, public transparency is critical for accountability both within and outside the municipal system:

First, this criterion creates a route for effective communication between the local, state, and union levels of India's federal government structure through voluntary disclosure of information. This facilitates in the financial and operational auditing of ULBs. It also contributes to the development of a healthy competitive environment among ULBs in terms of providing high-quality services to their residents.

Second, it plays a key role in enabling citizens to successfully use participatory platforms to influence municipal policy by making information available to them. This reform can also be considered as a complement to JNNURM's second important reform objective, namely the enactment of the Community Involvement Law, by assisting in the attainment of informed participation. As a result, public disclosure makes ULBs more accountable not just to the federal government but also to the general public.

Third, the PDL enables ULBs to be accountable to a range of additional stakeholders, such as lenders, credit rating agencies, funders, private contractors, and so on, with whom they must increasingly deal. The construction of a solid platform for the disclosure of municipal finances will make it easier for municipalities to be evaluated when seeking money from lenders and capital markets, as well as lower borrowing costs over time. This is particularly essential because ULBs may need to use market-based financing for at least some of their capital investment needs.

The following are some of the benefits of a Public Disclosure Law:

  1. Municipalities will be required to publish information on their own initiative under a PDL.

  2. A well-drafted PDL will give ULBs/parastatals clear instructions on the areas and manner of disclosure, avoiding inconsistencies and conflicts.

  3. It will increase government transparency and accountability while also combating corruption.

  4. It would enable residents to play an active role in local governance through informed engagement, hence enhancing the citizen-state relationship.

  5. Citizens' ability to exercise a wide range of other rights will be enhanced by access to information. In this regard, public disclosure complements the Right to Information (RTI) Act of 2005 by making information about ULB activities available on a regular basis, as follows:

  6. This will relieve the Information Department's workload by lowering the amount of RTI queries on such topics.

  7. This will ensure that suo motu disclosure occurs on a regular basis.

  8. The reform also allows for the organisation of vast amounts of data in a clearly understandable style.

  9. Information disclosure will bring important issues to the forefront and put pressure on all stakeholders to resolve them. In other words, such a law would allow for a more educated and thorough examination of urban difficulties, assisting in the identification and implementation of sustainable solutions.

Q4) What are various sources of municipal revenue? Describe various mechanisms to improve municipal revenue.

Ans) Sources of Municipal Revenue

Revenue Head/ Category

Sources of Revenue

Tax revenue

Property Tax, Octroi, Advertisement Tax, Animal Tax, Vacant Land Tax, and Taxes on Carriages and Carts are all examples of taxes.

Non-Tax revenue

User fees, municipal fees, sale and hire fees, and lease payments are all included in the user fees.

Other receipts

Various receipts, recouped legal fees, and lapsed

Rent on Tools & Equipment, Fees, Fines & Forfeitures, Deposits, Fees, Fines & Forfeitures

Miscellaneous Sales, Plants, etc.

Assigned (Shared) revenue

Entertainment tax, stamp duty surcharge, profession tax, and motor vehicle tax


Plan Grants are funds made available by planned transfers from the government's higher tier for a variety of projects, programmes, and schemes.

Non-Plan Grants are given to compensate for income loss and certain specified transfers.


HUDCO, LIC, State and Central Governments, Banks, and Municipal Bonds are examples of loans taken out by local governments for capital projects and other purposes.

Mechanisms to Improve Municipal Revenue

Urban local bodies (ULBs) in India are under pressure to generate more money in the face of rising demand for urban services. The revenue sources that have been devolved do not fit the vast variety of responsibilities that they are expected to fulfil. As a result, ULBs are becoming increasingly reliant on higher levels of government.

They can, in general, raise revenue from internal sources, seek outside funding from outside bodies, and cut costs. The removal of the Octroi, the loss of buoyancy and elasticity of the annual rental value (ARV) based Property Tax(PT), and the resulting fiscal burden on ULBs in India have all become compelling reasons to develop new revenue streams. The following are some of the techniques that ULBs can use to improve their credit worthiness. ULBs can impose new levies, increase tax, or fee rates, or adopt management innovations within current revenue structures to mobilise resources on their own. Imposing new sources or raising tax or user fee rates necessitates the permission of the elected municipal council and/or the state government, which is a lengthy and time-consuming process.

Refurbishing Major Taxes

In India, octroi and PT (Property Tax) have long been the mainstays of municipal funding. Except for the states of Punjab and Orissa, and municipal corporations in Maharashtra and Gujarat, it has been abolished in India. According to data on PT revenue, the percentage of PT revenue in total tax revenue is decreasing. In the state of Rajasthan, PT accounts for only approximately 2% of overall revenue.

The decline of the PT's fiscal role in India is attributable to a variety of administrative and legislative factors. The creation of revenue through PT is contingent on the base being updated to reflect current rental values. Despite the fact that local rules provide for it, this is rarely done. Other administrative issues include a lack of openness in the calculation of the base and a need for rate structure rationalisation.

Property Tax Innovations

In India, property taxes are the primary source of revenue for urban local governments. In most localities, however, not all properties are assessed, records are not updated on a regular basis, and tax collection is inadequate. Improved property inventories, record management, public awareness and engagement, and tax collection are all ways for ULBs to enhance revenue. Property tax revenue can be significantly increased by preserving the tax base through indexing and regular valuation, which is backed up by legal safeguards. The following are some previous critical observations in the context of property tax administration in the country:

Andhra Pradesh and Patna recently implemented area-based property tax systems, which are easy and creative. Despite a reduction in the rate from 69 to 9 percent when it was first implemented in Patna, income climbed significantly. The system's good characteristics have resulted in a snowball effect in other states. Gujarat, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, and Delhi have all adopted the method, which was first implemented in Andhra Pradesh. The State Government of Uttar Pradesh has changed Municipal Laws to de-link the standard rent idea of the Rent Control Law from the valuation of Property Tax base, in addition to adopting a Unit Value system of Property Tax.

Property tax reforms may include: simplification of tax assessment and collection, introduction of area-based methods that link property tax to location, type of building, and type of use parameters based on some rational criteria, bringing government properties and unauthorised constructions into the tax net, elimination of assessor discretion, self-assessment of tax and payment through banks, rationalisation of exemptions, and computerisation of accts.

Regardless of the unit value system's transparency, impartiality, and simplicity, the system is unlikely to experience buoyancy and flexibility because the unit values are frozen. To remedy this issue, unit values would need to be reassessed on a regular basis and updated for inflation. What matters most in any PT restoration programme is that it is created within the current legislative framework in each country in order to be legally viable. Intervention is also required on all four of PT's major organs, which are as follows:

  1. Nature of base,

  2. Valuation and assessment practices,

  3. Rate structure, and

  4. Collection efficiency.

Isolated action in any of these organs is unlikely to increase the tax's revenue productivity.

All of these organs would have to be treated simultaneously.

Effective Tax Administration

Maladies in tax administration relate to:

  1. Lack of effective and objective valuation of tax base; and

  2. Deficiencies in assessment of demand, billing, and collection.

Widening the tax net, addressing the issue of under-assessment, and reviewing exemptions for lands and structures from Property Tax are all issues that must be handled honestly. Some communities are currently using tax mapping to expand their tax base. Physical surveys of lands and structures using GIS base maps have considerably enlarged the local tax-net and increased revenue in Ludhiana, Indore, Mirzapur, Ghaziabad, Agra, Lucknow, Kanpur, and other towns.

It has also aided in the objectivity and transparency of property tax valuation and assessment. Tax collection and revenue production could be secured by a programme of incentives and punishments for municipal employees and taxpayers, as well as by profitably implementing the ABC Analysis, which is commonly used in inventory management in an organisation or project. On behalf of the various state governments, some of the tax administration procedures taken are narrated.

Self-Assessment System (SAS): SAS was implemented by a number of ULBs to make property tax assessments easier and more transparent. This system clarifies the assessment procedure for taxpayers and eliminates assessors' discretion in assessing properties in an arbitrary manner. It encourages taxpayer participation by allowing individuals to calculate their own evaluation within pre-set parameters.

In 1999-2000, the Municipal Corporation of Hyderabad (MCH) implemented SAS for property taxes. MCH entered all property information into a computer system and assigned each unit a unique identification number. By interviewing resident welfare associations, the corporation involved the public in determining the revised tax rates. The corporation was able to implement the reforms thanks to tax education and publicity campaigns, which included newspaper advertisements. As a result, property tax income increased from Rs. 569 million in 1998-99 to Rs. 1008 million in 2000-01.

Improved Information Base: The Chennai Corporation implemented a computerised information system in 1997-98 that allows for improved links between property taxes and allows for close collection monitoring. The corporation was able to boost its property tax revenue by 50% as a result of this. The Indore Municipal Corporation (IMC) digitised existing property tax data and carried out a physical assessment of all wards to discover properties that were not on the books. The number of properties recognised grew from 1.55 lakh to 2.67 lakh. Some city governments have implemented user-friendly payment methods such as bank-based tax collection and web-based tax collection. The Indore Municipal Corporation has implemented a system of senior citizen group health insurance. Senior persons can now get free hospitalisation up to Rs. 20,000 if they have paid their Property Tax. A few localities have implemented a tax collection system that includes banks and PT payment via the internet.

Collection Drives: Ahmedabad launched a specific push to boost property tax collections by forming special collecting teams. The corporation provided the teams the authority to cut off water or drainage pipes, seize defaulters' property, and issue arrest warrants for non-payment of property taxes. The result: Ahmedabad nearly doubled its property tax revenue from Rs. 47 crore to Rs. 92 crore in just two years, from 1993-94 to 1995-96.

Outsourcing Bill Distribution: Tax administration systems require a lot of manpower, and the expense of collection might occasionally outweigh the money earned. Sub-processes have begun to be outsourced by some ULBs. The Municipal Corporation of Ludhiana (MCL) has implemented a bill distribution courier system. MCL has 28 bill distributors who were paid Rs. 3.5 million per year to serve property tax and water charge invoices and send overdue reminders. These employees were relocated to different roles as they became vacant, and their work was given to three private couriers. The couriers saved roughly Rs. 2.5 million each year by completing the assignment for Rs. 1.1 million.

Tax Collection Centres: Special tax collection camps were held in a group of wards by ULBs in Tamil Nadu. The councillors were enthusiastic about organising the camps and conducted door-to-door campaigns to inform residents about them and encourage them to use the facilities and pay their taxes. To boost property tax collection, the Tirunelveli Municipal Corporation erected 17-unit offices throughout the city. They advertised it in every available media and installed radio announcements and banners on company vehicles.

Because of the exposure, 65 percent of taxpayers paid their bills before the due date, resulting in a collection of Rs. 185 lakh in six months, compared to Rs. 200 lakh in a year before. The Guntur Municipal Corporation in Andhra Pradesh has raised the number of collection centres and opened them every second Saturday or Sunday. The Vishakhapatnam Municipal Corporation has created city civic centres where citizens can make payments quickly.

Tax “Adalats”(Tax courts): Property tax is frequently vexatious, resulting in court battles. ULBs lose money as a result of delays in resolving such situations. Some ULBs have formed special tax "adalats" to handle tax disputes promptly in order to reduce delays in settling property tax concerns.

Q5) What is disaster management? Explain various standards in disaster management.

Ans) The practise of efficiently preparing for and responding to calamities is known as disaster management. It entails deliberately allocating resources to reduce the damage caused by calamities. It also entails a systematic strategy to handling catastrophe prevention, readiness, response, and recovery duties.

Standards in Disaster Management


  1. One of the many lessons victims of numerous natural disasters have learned is that the tragedy's aftermath can be worse than the disaster itself. As a result, there is a need to recognise the importance of catastrophe preparedness.

  2. People, on the other hand, are frequently astonished by the concept of disaster reduction. How can a natural disaster, such as an earthquake or a hurricane, be mitigated or averted, is a common question.

  3. Unfortunately, as the world's population grows and human settlements expand in disaster-prone areas, more people and their assets become vulnerable to natural disasters. In the last ten years, the frequency of disasters has increased thrice globally compared to the 1960s, with economic damages topping US$ 60 billion per year!

  4. Natural disasters such as floods, earthquakes, cyclones, and other natural events are unavoidable; they are a part of the ecosystem we live in. What can be done, however, is to take preventative steps at various levels of society to reduce the impact of natural disasters on people as much as possible. A natural hazard's influence can be mitigated, and its worst impacts can be avoided.

  5. When a natural hazard strikes a town, it interrupts routine operations and causes economic harm, it becomes a disaster. Natural calamities affect everyone, rich and poor. The poor, on the other hand, will be the ones who suffer the most. Protecting the poor from natural calamities also helps to alleviate poverty.

  6. International and regional organisations, national governments or private enterprises, local administrations or specialised associations are among the communities actively involved in striving to avert natural catastrophes before they hit.

  7. What matters is to instil a culture of prevention in all communities and at all levels: action must be made to save lives before calamity occurs.

Principles of Mitigation and Preparedness

Activities for disaster mitigation and preparedness must begin well in advance of any crises and are guided by the following principles:

  1. The adoption of competent and successful catastrophe mitigation programmes requires a risk assessment.

  2. Disaster preparedness and prevention are crucial in lowering the need for disaster aid.

  3. Disaster At the national, regional, bilateral, multilateral, and international levels, prevention and preparedness should be regarded an inherent aspect of development policy and planning.

  4. The key to successful disaster prevention and preparedness is early warning of coming calamities and effective transmission of such information via communications.

  5. Preventive interventions are most effective when everyone is involved, from the local community to the national level to the regional and international levels.

  6. Vulnerability can be reduced by using suitable design and development patterns aimed towards certain target groups, as well as appropriate education and training.

  7. As an inherent aspect of technical cooperation, the international community recognises the need to share critical technologies to prevent, reduce, and mitigate disasters, which should be made openly available and done in a timely manner.

Natural catastrophes are the primary responsibility of each government to protect its people, infrastructure, and other national assets. The international community must show the political will to mobilise adequate and effective resources, including financial, scientific, and technological resources.

Preventive Planning

In India, long-term planning and catastrophe preparedness are gradually becoming part of the development planning process. The creation of forecasting and warning systems, disaster-resistant construction technologies, and appropriate agricultural systems are all examples of science and technology inputs.

For many years, a variety of unique programmes have been in place to help mitigate the effects of natural catastrophes. As a result of the country's long history of natural disasters, individual groups have developed their own indigenous coping mechanisms. Our country's historic inheritance is a great treasury of this knowledge. In times of crisis, the spontaneous mobilisation of community action, aided by non-governmental organisations, strengthens the nation's disaster management capability.

Accepting that the trend of losses shows no signs of improvement despite the implementation of numerous disaster mitigation measures, the country intends to focus greater attention in the coming years on key critical areas within this field. Links between disaster mitigation and development plans, effective communication systems/use of cutting-edge information technology, insurance, extensive public awareness, and education campaigns, particularly in rural areas, private sector involvement, and institutional and international co-operations are among them.

The importance of the community and the voluntary sector, which includes NGOs, has grown in recent years. The best and quickest reaction to disasters is provided by the people on the ground, i.e. the community and community-based organisations. Preparation and mitigation activities might also be most effective at the neighbourhood level for the same reasons. As a result, Community Based Disaster Management is gaining traction as the most effective means of responding to catastrophes, as well as preparing for and mitigating them.

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