The Union government of India has recently released guidelines for a new finance-based ranking of cities, which will assess urban areas on 15 key parameters, including resource mobilization, expenditure performance, and fiscal governance. A separate ranking will also be conducted to evaluate cities on their beautification efforts. The rankings are intended to motivate city and state officials to implement municipal financial reforms and encourage cities to prioritize the delivery of quality infrastructure and services to citizens.
All cities and urban local bodies in India, totaling more than 4,500, are encouraged to participate in the City Finance Rankings 2022. Urban bodies will be invited to submit the required data or documents through the website http://www.cityfinance.in. Cities will be ranked nationally based on their scores in one of four population categories: above four million, between 1-4 million, between 100,000 to 1 million, and less than 100,000. The top three cities in each population category will be recognized and rewarded at both the national and state levels.
The finance ranking is an initiative of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who met with Chief Secretaries of all states in June 2021 and outlined his vision for a pan-India ranking of cities to foster healthy competition among municipal bodies. The ranking is also aimed at identifying areas in the financial performance of cities where further improvements can be made.
In addition to the finance ranking, the Union government has also launched a “City Beauty Competition” to recognize and encourage the transformational efforts made by cities and wards in India towards creating beautiful, innovative, and inclusive public spaces. The competition will judge wards and public places in cities against the five broad pillars of accessibility, amenities, activities, aesthetics, and ecology. The most beautiful wards and most beautiful public places at the city level, such as waterfronts, green spaces, tourist and heritage spaces, and market and commercial places, will be awarded at the state level and then shortlisted for awards at the national level.
The finance and beauty rankings launched by the Indian government aim to motivate city and state officials to implement municipal financial reforms and create beautiful, innovative, and inclusive public spaces. By participating in these rankings, cities will have the opportunity to identify areas for improvement and work towards delivering quality infrastructure and services to citizens. The top performing cities will also be recognized and rewarded at the national and state levels, giving them a sense of pride and promoting a healthy sense of competition.