Home arrow Archives arrow Economic Highlights
News and Features
INFA Digest
Parliament Spotlight
Journalism Awards
Economic Highlights
India’s Manufacturing Sector:INNOVATIVE & HIGH GROWTH IMPERATIVE,Dhurjati Mukherjee,10 February 20 Print E-mail


New Delhi, 10 February 2006

 India’s Manufacturing Sector


By Dhurjati Mukherjee

A transformation in manufacturing and trade has definitely swept the entire world. There have been demands, and quite justifiably, that the developed world has not shown magnanimity in sharing capital and technology to the extent necessary with their Third World counterparts. But even then there have been significant improvements in manufacturing technology of the latter countries, obviously through their own efforts. 

One may mention that the kind of goods exported by the developing countries in 1965 were in the form or primary commodities (85 per cent) which have shifted to manufactured goods (79 per cent) by 1998.  In fact, a great deal of new manufacturing in the world is now taking place in countries in which just a few decades ago, there was practically no manufacturing.

The Indian manufacturing sector has also made rapid strides since the last decade but more explicitly in the past three-four years. In the wake of liberalization, the manufacturing sector got its act together after initial jitters, presenting a face of confidence and growth. In 2004-05, the sector grew at 8.9 per cent which is expected to be around 10 per cent, in the current financial year.

At a recent meeting of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said manufacturing is critical for a country evolving from a farm-based economy.  “Manufacturing is the sponge which absorbs people who need to move out of agriculture in pursuit of higher incomes”, he observed.  However, the Prime Minister expressed concern that the share of manufacturing in the national income had shown a marginal improvement from 15.8 per cent in 2001 to 17 per cent in 2003.

Though the sector has overcome basic challenges like inefficiency, quality standards and high cost of production in recent years, India is still way behind in manufacturing with hardly 20 per cent of the gross domestic product.  A study in Vikalpa, of the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, some time ago found very slow improvement in manufacturing parameters in most companies such as productivity, quality, on-time delivery, manufacturing cycle time, procurement lead times, raw materials inventory, average unit production costs etc.

There is thus need for further improvement in manufacturing through technological innovations and greater emphasis on research and development (R&D) which the country with its large scientific and technical manpower is quite capable of doing.

The new economy of information technology and telecommunications can help improve deficiencies in manufacturing through better monitoring, catching defects before they arise and computerized operations.  It can help customized production at no additional cost, thus making products more unique and attractive to the customer. It can enable speedier innovation by cutting the time from getting an idea to getting it converted into a product in the market.

Though in the heavy industrial sector, manufacturing techniques have greatly improved, the picture in the small scale and cottage industries sector is greatly different. Most of their products do not match international standards, while the costs of production are relatively high. As their products are not marketed on a centralized basis, as is being done in China  If manufacturing is handled effectively by any centralized agency, both in India and abroad, turnover would greatly increase.  This would give an impetus to the small scale sector to develop their manufacturing technologies and become quality conscious and cost effective. and many other countries, these industries suffer in various ways.

Infrastructure, especially availability of power, has also come in the way of development of small scale and cottage industries.  The Chinese example needs to be emulated in India, if rural industrialization is to spread all over the country which, in turn, would generate lot of employment (and self-employment). But for this to crystallize, the Government has to extend some subsidies, so that the manufacturing techniques of this sector improve and become cost effective and, at the same time, maintain a level of quality.  China’s dominance in world markets in labour-intensive products like garments, toys, leather goods and so on explains its emphasis on quality, costs and marketing.

However, things are changing fast and with research and trade institutions very active, new technologies may become available easily and this will obviously have an impact on quality and costs in the coming years.  Though R&D expenditure in the country is still very low at around 0.80 per cent of turnover, this is steadily increasing.  Moreover, Indian scientists, engineers and technocrats are acknowledged to be of a high standard and their endeavours in various fields should help transform the Indian economy in a big way.

The recently-released draft report on national strategy for manufacturing by the National Manufacturing Competitiveness Council has recommended enhancement of government focus on imperatives, creating conditions for growth of the sector; lowering cost of manufacture; investing in innovation through emphasis on R&D; strengthening education  and training; adoption of global best practices; promotion of small and medium industries; enabling public sector manufacturing industries to emerge big and strong; infrastructure development; creating a monitoring mechanism and measuring performance.

There is today an integration of national economies into the international economy through trade, direct foreign investment, flow of technology and flow of workers.  Thus people, capital, technology products and services are expected to flow freely into India.  Efficiency and value engineering have already been recognized as tools for global competitiveness which the country will have to pursue more vigorously in the coming years.

In such a situation, manufacturers have to change radically to compete successfully with foreign entrants and develop ways and means to expand operations and enter new and unexplored markets.  As trade with the neighbouring countries as also with ASEAN nations is destined to increase rapidly in the coming years, there has to be sustained efforts to tap these markets with a wide range of products. ---INFA

(Copyright, India News and Feature Alliance)




Climate Change Conference:INTERNATIONAL PRESSURE MAY YIELD RESULTS,by Dhurjati Mukherjee,2 February Print E-mail


New Delhi, 2 February 2006

Climate Change Conference


By Dhurjati Mukherjee

The recent Climate Change Conference has agreed to a road map to extend the Kyoto Protocol beyond 2012, as Ministers of about 180 different countries agreed to launch new open-ended world talks on ways to fight global warming, overcoming objections by the US which had resisted taking part to broader discussions.  It was agreed that this was one of the most productive UN Climate Change Conferences ever.  In fact, the Montreal talks followed a twin track, one pursuing negotiations to advance Kyoto and the other under the broader UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC).

The US, the world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gases, and Australia refused to ratify the Kyoto Protocol but are members of the parent treaty and Washington had initially refused to support a broader dialogue, fearing it might be a binding commitment for cutting emissions. Under the Kyoto Protocol about 40 industrialized nations have to cut emissions by an average 5.2 per cent below 1990 levels by 2008-12.  However, developing countries such as China and India have no targets under the Kyoto Protocol as rich industrial states have to take the lead in cutting emissions after fuelling their economies with coal, oil and gas since the days of the Industrial Revolution.

The agreement on a Kyoto renewal road map would give members seven years to negotiate and ratify accords by the time the first phase ends in 2010.  Most countries agree that deeper cuts will be needed to avoid climate chaos in the coming decades. As it is well known that global warming has been a subject of great concern with increasing build-up of gases from burning fossil fuels, power plants, autos and factories.

Though there has been a sigh of relief at the success of this Conference, it remains to be seen whether it would be possible to bring about deeper cuts in emissions, as was felt necessary by most countries as also by Jennifer Morgan, the climate change expert at the WWF, to counter the devastating impacts of climate change. However, a report released on the eve of the Montreal Conference said that developed countries, taken as a group, have achieved “sizeable emission reductions”.  Compared to the 1990 levels, overall greenhouse gas emissions by the developed countries have dropped by 5.9 per cent in 2003.

In spite of this finding, there is evidence that global warming has been affecting countries around the world. Some scientists believe the effects would be disastrous for tropical countries like India where floods and cyclones have intensified in recent years.  There is lot of scientific debate not just on the extent of climate change but its severity and the resultant impact on human society.

The accumulation of greenhouse gases raises average global temperature which could melt polar ice caps, adding water to the sea, causing a rise in sea levels.  In some areas, warmer temperatures will also mean more rainfall but that doesn’t translate into better crop productivity.  While the impact will vary around the world, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has estimated that the average rise in the temperatures would be between 1.4 and 5.8 by the year 2100.  However, a section of scientists feel that global warming has already begun to affect crop yields in most parts of the world and specially in the tropical countries.

Some parts of Europe may find the Mediterranean-type climate favourable, but its bad news for agriculture elsewhere, not to mention the ski resorts of the Alps.  Traditional tourism hot spots such as Spain and Greece could find their summer temperatures are simply too sizzling, tempting holiday-makers to vacation further north.  Extreme heat waves such as the one that struck Western Europe in 2003 are set to increase in frequency in a warming world, causing wildfires, loss of crops and a rise in summer deaths.

The severity of monsoon rains is expected to increase in Asia which may mean more flooding for the inhabitants of countries of Bangladesh and India.  The last two years are witness to such increase.  To the east, regions such as Indonesia and the Pacific Rim are expected to receive less rain as EI Nino events grow more severe and divert warm waters, which feed rain clouds, towards South America.

Africa is more at risk than most from the dangers of encroaching desertification. Although overall global rainfall is predicted to increase, drought-prone regions look set to expand as rising temperatures strangle plant communities that previously helped to retain water in the soil.  This could have disastrous impacts on food production for the continent.  In sub-Saharan Africa, increasing tropical rainfall could exacerbate problem of malaria, already responsible for around a deaths every year.

The Australian dry continent stands to become even more so if EI Nino events become commonplace.  Warming of ocean waters has already damaged the Great Barrier Reef, the world’s largest living structure.  Since 1998, the Reef has undergone two ‘bleaching’ events in which huge numbers of corals throw off the coloured algae that live alongside them, as a result of stress caused by rising temperatures.

Antarctica, which has potential to break off the world’s climate, may be in danger as climatologists believe that the break up of the West Antarctic ice sheet would dump huge amounts of fresh water into the ocean and raise sea levels by as much as several metres over the course of the century.

Thus the world wide scenario appears to be quite disturbing. In India, also recent studies indicate that global warming in the last few years has had wide ranging consequences.  A drop in wheat production, for example, in 2003-04, was attributed to warm weather.  A three-year research project supported by the UK Government and the Indian Ministry of Environment and Forests has revealed that climate change, in the not-too-distant future, could increase the frequency of weather events, radically change the appearance of India’s forests, reduce rice and wheat yields and create conditions conducive to mosquito-transmitted diseases.

Keeping all this in mid, there is need to view the issue of climate change not just a problem of emission but of a cultural change of outlook – in education, in social discourse and in techno-economics.  There is every likelihood that social, economic and technological changes will be more rapid and will have greater impacts on human population.  But unless these are integrated into climate change strategies, they could act at cross purposes. 

For example, tax reform and fiscal incentives for long-term technological shifts have to be politically buttressed if they are not to succumb to destruction by competitive global markets.  Moreover, it is well known that climate change is a global problem that needs a global commitment through local action.  Thus it is necessary to think and act both globally and locally with commitment and support of the political machinery.

Above all, the solutions have to be adaptive, evolutionary, learned and shared. As Rayner and Malone (1998) aptly concluded: “To commit oneself, one’s family, firm, community or nation to just one viewpoint is to gamble that it will turn out to be right. It is far more likely that all will be partly right and all will be partly wrong. 

Recognizing this, and stewarding the land of intellectual pluralism necessary to maintain viewpoints and a rich repertoire of policy strategies from which to choose, is what promoting social resilience, sustainable development and climate change governance is all about”.  Thus there is hope that the perception of climate change and the need for clean energy and sustainable development would be accepted and implemented globally. ---INFA

 (Copyright, India News and Feature Alliance)

Population Control:RURAL UPLIFT IMPERATIVE, Dhurjati Mukherjee, 24 January 2006 Print E-mail


New Delhi, 24 January 2006

Population Control


By Dhurjati Mukherjee

Stablizing population growth can only be possible through rapid economic development and increase in the per capita income of the people.  The developed countries of the world like the USA, Germany, the UK, France and Russia all have a population growth ranging from 0.2 to one per cent. This indicates that the developed regions would not face any significant population increase, while the developing regions are likely to grow from 4.8 billion to 7.8 billion by the year 2040.  It is thus quite clear that backwardness and illiteracy have been the principal reasons for accelerating the pace of population growth.

In a world where high growth and competitiveness has become the order of the day, it is imperative that the development process has to be ushered in a big way.  Scarcity of resources made worse by rising population and governance problems have retarded the development process in Third World countries. Also, areas of regions within these countries, which are backward and where education has not spread, the rise of population has been more acute.

India has 2.4 per cent of the land mass of the world but it has around 17 per cent of the population and this has been increasing at the rate of 1.9 per cent per annum, while that of the world has been moving at 1.4 per cent per annum.  It is estimated that there would be 10 billion people in the world by 2050.  According to the UN Commission on Population and Development, India, Pakistan, China, Indonesia and Nigeria are among five countries that account for almost half the annual growth of 100 million of the world’s population.

China has launched commendable and drastic family planning programmes over the last decade.  It is estimated that its population will increase from the present 1250 million to approximately 1500 million in the year 2025.  On the other hand, India’s record has been far from satisfactory and present reveal that the country’s population will cross that of China in the first quarter of this century.

The reasons for India’s failure to attain success in controlling population may be attributed to the following factors: Backwardness, specially in the BIMARU States with special reference to Bihar; inadequate awareness generation and spread of literacy at the grassroot level in some of the remote areas of the country; lack of common civil code and the government’s reluctance to impose this fearing backlash from the minority community; high levels of gender inequality and poor initiative to make women conscious and aware of the need for family planning; superstitious beliefs and lack of initiative by the panchayats to spread and implement family planning rigorously.

The vicious circle of poverty, population explosion and environmental degradation has greatly affected India, as also many other Third World countries.  If the population remains uncontrolled, it would be disastrous for the country’s economy.  The growth rate of the economy, which has reached respectable levels in the last two years, may get diluted if the population increase is not stabilized in the coming years.

It is encouraging to note that social infrastructure development, that is, adequate emphasis on health and education has already been initiated. There is an urgent need to inculcate family planning education in a massive way, especially in Bihar, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh and eastern Uttar Pradesh.  Education is undoubtedly a powerful weapon to combat increase in fertility rate, poverty and unemployment. 

The panchayats need to be involved and well-known personalities from all religious communities have to be mobilized to lead this family planning campaign.  It may be pertinent here to mention that the National Planning Health Survey of 1998 found that women on an average ended up producing 0.7 more children than they actually wanted because of various factors, including non-availability of contraception services.  In high population growth States this gap is much higher.

India’s growth and economic performance may lose its momentum if, at this juncture, family planning is not practised by a major segment of the population in a big way.  As is well known, natural resources are getting depleted and it would be virtually impossible for the country to make its presence felt in the international scene if the population growth cannot be controlled.

The scarcity of water resources, the per capita availability of land of the depleting fossil fuels is a world wide trend and populous countries like India would have to be more cautious in the coming years. Already since the green revolution, foodgrains output growth has lost the race against population  increase.

Somewhat neglect of the rural sector and also of its impoverished population by the Indian planners may also be attributed to the unplanned population growth. But presently the emphasis on physical infrastructure development, especially in the areas of roads and highways and better connectivity, and also some positive initiative sin the power sector, may witness transformation of the rural scenario which could help reduce population growth.

In an over-populous country like India where the density of the population is around 320 per sq.km. (compared to around 135 per sq. km of China), all efforts at development will not achieve the desired results if the population growth is not curbed.  Socio-economic advancement will be jeopardized if the growth rate is not brought down to below 1.5 per cent per annum.  If the southern states of the country can achieve this, why not their northern counterparts?  Superstitious beliefs and fundamentalist attitude to life should give way to a modern outlook of life and living.

It has been observed in Kerala, where the literacy rate is very high, that there has been a drastic decline in the population  growth.  Also in most of the north-eastern States, where women are professionally engaged and not at all backward, the fertility rate is quite low. A shift in gear in contraceptive application, that is, contraceptive research and its long-term research should be aimed at men rather than women.

Control of population does not rest entirely in the hands of the Government or even the non-Governmental organizations (NGOs).  Its success depends on people’s participation in the family planning programme and getting themselves educated.   If education spreads among women and the under-privileged sections, the fertility rate would go down, as has normally been the experience in the Third World.

Public-private partnerships need to be effectively marshaled to achieve this through various awareness generation measures and simultaneous uplifting the condition of the grassroot masses.  There has to be a realization that adding more population in a world where resources are getting scarcer and poverty is not much in decline (judged by numbers) would only create problems for the developing nations in the not-so-foreseeable future. ---INFA

(Copyright, India News and Feature Alliance)

Citizens Need Stake in State:NATIONAL SECURITY AND ITS DANGERS. Col. P.K. Vasudeva (Rtd.),19 Jan 06 Print E-mail


New Delhi, 19 January 2006

   Citizens Need Stake in State


By Col. P.K. Vasudeva (Rtd.)

Terrorism is nothing new in India.  The country has been fighting it since times immemorial. We have been facing insurgency since 1960s in the North-East, since 1989 in Jammu and Kashmir and since mid-1980s in Punjab. It was at its worst ebb after the 1984 riots. Delhi has always been a vulnerable city. The assassination of Indira Gandhi in October 1984, the transistor bombs and the random terrorist attacks that struck the city through the 1980s led to the stepping up of security for the VIPs in the Union Capital.

This heightened security left most of the citizens out of the purview, who instead had to learn to put up with the inconveniences that accompany “VIP security”. At the same time, such lopsided security implied that it could never be foolproof.  The series of bomb blasts in crowded market places in the capital,  followed months after the blasts that struck some of the city’s cinema halls, and comes four years after the attack on Parliament in December 2001.  In recent years other Indian cities, such as Mumbai, Kolkata, Ahmedabad and Jehanabad have been victim of terrorist strikes.

The recent serial blast in Delhi that killed 61 innocent civilians and injured hundreds others has once again focussed attention of the civil society in India with regard to terrorists and killers who are prepared to snuff out innocent lives with impunity at the time and place of their own choosing.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh conveyed in no uncertain terms to Pakistan’s President, Parvez Musharraf at the SAARC meeting in Bangladesh that Pakistan has a hand in blasts which took scores of lives of young and old and was concerned with such dastardly acts of terrorism.  The UN has also sent a similar message albeit somewhat indirectly to Pakistan that any kind of terrorism from across the border must be curbed and the export of terrorist activities across neighbours should be crushed.

While this has served to focus attention on those responsible for the October 29 blasts, the fact remains that as a class of activity, these incidents are bound to take place whenever those diabolical intentions planned to do so, the glory inference being that the civil society security agencies in the country are quite helpless in altogether preventing such activities.

This shows complete failure of intelligence on the part of intelligence agencies and also complacencies on the part of civil and para-military forces in Delhi who have not been able to keep a track of terrorist movements not only at one place but at a series of places.  How can the Government instil confidence among civil society and ensure maintenance of peace to every citizen of the country and justify the exorbitant expenditure on the national security forces.

The crucial bit of action, which the security agencies must take for prevention of such occurrences altogether, which most of the people will argue insensibly, is quite an impossible task for any society as densely populated and porous as India’s.  Even the war against the civil terrorism of all types must continue with the utmost resolve at the command of the nation’s security agencies strength and continuous efforts are made to make it a hard battle for the perpetrators of the violence.

The question that needs to be asked is: Is it being done today?  The answer appears to be “No”, because if such an action was indeed taken by the agencies concerned there will be little scope to tighten the security in and around Delhi.

Only after the incident the security forces start checking the ordinary citizens at the entry and exit points of the crowded places and get slack after sometime. Would it not be a trifle for the security agencies to allot more people and equipment for such duties throughout the year, which would accomplish the task before the tragedy is struck instead of waiting for some more lives to be lost?

The same sort of preventive action should be taken to reduce the risk of terrorist attacks in crowded bazaars, and shopping malls, not to speak of crowded public transport such as buses and trains where the impact of such explosions could be maximum, because of the closed physical nature of the environment.

All the major airports all over the country have stringent entry-check stipulations throughout the year, which have certainly made the job of the terrorists more difficult.  Terrorists cannot be wiped out from the Indian society, but certainly the pressure on them can be increased manifold to make their existence difficult.  Can we expect the national security agencies which exist for the safety and welfare of their countrymen to fulfil their task effectively by becoming more vigilant?

The step that is being mooted is the establishment of a separate terrorist intelligence agency involving different wings of the army, the police and the para-military forces that will enable the pooling of information, technical and other resources.  Without the active involvement of the citizen, however, these moves will have little impact.

There is enough indication of the state slipping into its usual complacency.  While the state agencies, especially the police personnel need to become more accessible, citizen groups too can come together to ensure greater vigilance whether it is through installation of closed circuit cameras or security personnel engaged in monitoring the city’s public spaces.

It is time that terrorism and the response to it evoked a reaction, not by bringing in laws that deny the ordinary citizen his/her liberties, but also in truly empowering the individual, helping in creation of a “citizen” who has stake in the state and in the well- being of a fellow citizen.---INFA

 (Copyright, India News and Feature Alliance)



Urban Renewal: NEW PROJECT TO TRANSFORM CITIES,Dhurjati Mukherjee, 12 January 2006 Print E-mail


New Delhi, 12 January 2006

Urban Renewal


By Dhurjati Mukherjee

Cities have strongly emerged as the prime engines of the Indian economy and generators of national wealth.  It is evident that the future of India is inescapably urban. As the National Commission of Urbanization states, urbanization is the inevitable concomitant of economic change which is being witnessed in the country. With a total urban population of over 300 million and 35 metropolitan cities and metropolises, it is time that the nation perforce invests in the destined social and economic functions of cities and ensures that cities deliver a quality of life that would enable them to become national assets and engines of growth.

At such a juncture, the new project of the Union Government, Jawaharlal Nehru Urban Renewal Mission which seeks to improve the quality of life in 60 cities with a million-plus population, including all State capitals, has undoubtedly been a major step forward.  The seven-year plan with a budget of Rs. One lakh crore is expected to focus on infrastructure which would mean anything from road repairs and new flyovers to basic services for the poor, such as housing, drinking water supply and improved slum sanitation.

Though the endeavour appears to be extremely ambitious and should greatly help develop cities, sincerity and resources are vital for accomplishing this rather difficult task. This is because most of the big cities have a large percentage of the population who live in slums, squatter settlements, pavements and railway tracks and upgradation of these colonies as also rehabilitation, wherever necessary, has become imperative. Thus the Mission’s main objective of creating the much-needed infrastructure and developing basic services for the poor is expected to transform the cities and make them engines of development.

However, to achieve these objectives it is necessary to solicit the support of all stakeholders, including the NGOs and CBOs who have been working with the poorer communities in the city slums.  Any development plan would have to be finalized keeping into consideration the needs and demands of the lower echelons of society.  But this is rarely done and without planning from below, the success of meeting the requirements of the poorer sections can never be achieved. Thus, the strategy to develop the cities is very crucial at this juncture and, as the Prime Minister aptly pointed out at the launch of the Mission, it should evolve a people-centred approach.

As is well known, there has been a paradigm change in most Indian (if not Asian cities) cities during the course of decade or so. There are five negative aspects of the changes.  One, the globalization policies have resulted in the establishment of corporate sector industries, increased tourism and a rapid increase in the middle class. Consequently, there has been demand for land for industrial, commercial and middle class residential purposes. As a result, poor communities are being evicted from public land that they had occupied in or near the city centres.  The increase in land prices has also adversely affected the lower middle income groups. Two, due to increase of immigration and lack of low cost housing in the cities, living conditions in slums and squatter settlements have deteriorated due to over-crowding and lack of basic services. Three, increase in automobiles has polluted the environment and caused increase in environment-related diseases, affecting mainly the squatter settlers and the pavement dwellers. 

Four, curtailment of Government subsidies has directly affected the poorer sections that have to pay more for education and health. Especially the deterioration of the health sector and emergence of high-cost nursing homes has been a cause of serious concern for the poor who cannot afford the cost.  Five, increase in real estate development has led to the strengthening of the nexus between politicians, developers and the business community due to which building laws and zoning regulations have become strict with a view to beautify the city.  This has affected the poor communities, including pavement dwellers and street hawkers, who are being evicted from public lad, in most cases without any rehabilitation.

Deficiencies in urban infrastructure and basic amenities have acquired alarming proportions in the developing countries, including India, due to the declining trend in investment and financial support from the State governments to the urban local bodies. The possibility of generating large funds by these bodies from their resources being limited, the gap between demand and supply has widened in recent years.  It was thus necessary that the Centre make available resources for the development of cities which presently the Mission would seek to do.

Municipalities are in an unsatisfactory state on account of inability to properly tap and utilize proceeds from property tax because inadequacies in the valuation system and inefficiencies in the collection system, the Prime Minister rightly observed. He called for improvements that would enable city-level institutions to become financially viable and capable of generating resources. 

Meanwhile, tax exemption for municipal bonds and guidelines for their issuance, fiscal incentives for private sector participation in urban infrastructure, permitting FDI inflows into city hardware have heralded the possibility of ensuing changes.  It ma be mentioned here that some states and cities have taken the initiative in introducing accounting reforms, setting up state level urban municipal funds and attempting private sector in civic services though the overall national impact has been limited.

The current Mission for providing basic amenities should encourage involvement of local bodies, private agencies, non-governmental organizations and communities in a integrated manner to achieve the task.  The government fund constitutes only a part of the total resources that may be required for urban renewal and the remaining is expected to come from institutional sources, private entrepreneurs and the residents themselves.

Sustainable municipal efficiency is thus called for.  This needs capacity not merely within the municipal ranks of elected representatives and officials but also outside among civil society stakeholders.  Thus, capacity building for good urban governance is very much necessary.  Such capacity building, in any event, needs to be demand-based and should cover a wide spectrum of stakeholders and should address itself to a sufficiently large and widespread to achieve impact.

Urban governance needs serious attention and necessary reforms. As the Prime Minister said: “cities have not been enabled to look inward and build on their inherent capacities, both financial and technical, and instead are still seen in many States as “wards” of State governments.  He wanted this to change and informed, in this connection, that many cities like Mumbai, Bangalore and Thirvananthapuram have come up with citizen’s initiative for urban renewal.

Thus, the renewal programme of the populous and big Indian cities is very much needed at a time when infrastructure upgradation to international standards has become a necessity. The big question that the Mission has to keep in mind is the fact that both the rich and the poor have to exist peacefully in a city and the interests of both the groups have to be protected.

While the Government has been giving prime land to the corporate sector at relatively low prices in the metros of Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata and Bangalore, there is also a need to give land rights to the urban poor which unfortunately is not being done.  The city in Third World countries like India should have a balanced approach; both the powerful corporate entities along with the poor communities should be able to live and their livelihood. ---INFA.

(Copyright, India News and Feature Alliance)

<< Start < Previous 631 632 633 634 635 636 637 638 639 640 Next > End >>

Results 5698 - 5706 of 5806
  Mambo powered by Best-IT