Catalysing Investments for Sustainable Urban Transport through Municipal Finance Reforms

Undertaken By: Janaagraha Centre for Citizenship and Democracy,    Recent Publication: 2017

Over the next 20 years, India’s cities will require an investment of at least USD 800 billion to meet the growing demand for civic services. While some of this can be met through government funding, increasingly cities will have to seek recourse through other means, including the issuance of municipal bonds. While the potential of India’s municipal bond market is high, it has remained largely untapped. Very few Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) have experience in raising funds through municipal bonds. In addition, the financial management practices of ULBs must be significantly improved for investors to take interest. To raise their credibility, municipalities can develop and release audited balance sheets. In doing so, they will also become eligible for performance grants by the government. Shakti is supporting efforts to strengthen the fiscal management system of ULBs to promote the better utilization of resources and to identify new revenue streams.