Hyderabad, Jan 5 (IANS) The central government has asked municipal bodies to mobilise resources by levying taxes wherever necessary to improve basic civic amenities.
Underlining the need for reforms for better urban governance, union Urban Development Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu urged the urban bodies to go for credit rating and bring transparency and accountability in their functioning.
He advised them to mobilise resources locally by levying or revising existing taxes after convincing people that they will get better infrastructure and services.
He also suggested that they raise loans from banks and national and international financial institutions by improving credit rating.
Naidu said they should not merely look to the central government and the states for funds.
He was addressing municipal commissioners of cities with a population of more than a lakh.
Municipal commissioners from over 70 cities and officials of urban development departments from the five southern states - Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh - and the union territory of Puducherry are attending the day-long consultative workshop.
This is the first workshop organised by the ministry before launching its new initiatives on urban development and housing.
The minister asked the municipal bodies to take up digitisation of properties, revenues, assets and other details, saying the central government will provide the necessary funds for the project.
Naidu said Prime Minister Narendra Modi wants all municipal bodies to start a website and an electronic news digest, giving details of its activities and prepare a list of the poor.
The minister also wanted them to frame rules and regulations for better governance in their respective areas without approaching state governments.
Stating that every state will get two to three smart cities, Naidu made it clear that the central government will provide no funds and that the urban bodies will have to raise private investment and go for public-private partnership model.