The government has introduced a new scheme for reforms in the local bodies of Jammu and Kashmir. To encourage these reforms, it has been decided to launch the Aspirational Towns Development Programme, the Urban Reform Incentive Fund (URIF), and assistance framework for the classification of various municipalities.
J&K Municipal Development Index 2022 is a tool to assess the qualitative development criteria of urban local bodies development in J&K UTs as a guide for evidence-based policy making. It will work to stimulate action to achieve broader development outcomes, including sustainable development goals, review and compare results obtained from municipal institutions, provide citizens with insight into the functioning of local institutions and participation, and establish dialogue between partners.
URIF will provide the necessary financial incentives to municipalities to reform their journey to becoming aspirational towns. Since the 74th Amendment Act, 1993 constitutionally recognising Urban Local Bodies as the third tier of governance, municipalities have become important for governance. Therefore, it is obvious that the development and governance of cities is determined by the functioning of municipalities. They are the key agents that enable the city to become “smart” and “sustainable”.
Officials said the assessment framework assesses the sectoral performance of municipalities across a set of 7 verticals and pillars namely quality of life and services, economic potential, technology, urban planning, governance, sustainability and climate, and citizens’ awareness covering 37 sectors and 138 indicators. The Municipal Development Index will serve as a guide for evidence-based policy-making, stimulate action to achieve broader development outcomes including sustainable development goals, evaluate and compare the results achieved by municipal institutions, It will provide citizens with insight into the functioning of local bodies and hold them accountable.
Based on the performance of these municipalities as per the standards set under J&KMDI 2022, the best-performing municipalities will be encouraged and encouraged. This is our responsibility and commitment that the wishes of the people should be fulfilled, Lt Governor Manoj Sinha said.