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How India's Small Towns Live (or Die)   
How India's Small Towns Live (or Die)
Making Sense of Municipal Finances
Paromita Shastri
Published by Academic Foundation
in association with
Society for Participatory Research
in Asia (PRIA)
, New Delhi
Hard-bound Book (6¼" x 9¼")  :   Pages : 180
2011  Edition         :   ISBN - 978-81-7188-834-4
Price : Rs. 695.00  / USD 35.95
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By 2040, over half of India's population will live in cities and towns. How many of them will live in slums? To prevent intense migration pressure on the handful of metros and state capitals and the resulting urban dehumanisation, policymakers must urgently focus on reviving India's small towns and big villages. Yet, most small town municipalities are in shambles; they lack resources, planning, data, maps, incentives and proper accounting. Corruption and power politics dog them, and citizens have no say or role in their running.

This book looks at the kaleidoscope of municipal finance issues in India, keeping the small towns at the core, and argues for a radical change in the constitution and working of these municipalities, with effective devolution of funds, functions, and functionaries from the state level. It contends that municipal bodies need to function independently and with real participation of citizens to be the force of change that gives birth to a new urban India.

About the AUTHOR:

Paromita Shastri has been an economic journalist for 25 years and worked in senior editorial positions at Business Standard in Kolkata and at The Economic Times, Outlook Magazine, and Mint in New Delhi. As an independent writer editor now, she has written for various organisations, among them IFPRI, The World Bank, the Planning Commission and the M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF). She is also a translator and child rights activist. She has written an exhaustive report, called “Blind Alley: Juvenile Justice in India”, for HAQ: Centre for Child Rights, New Delhi, and is currently looking after their research work in child budgeting and education. She has a post-graduate degree in economics as well as journalism from Kolkata.


List of Tables, Figures and Annexure



1. Will India Miss the Global Bus? Urbanisation and its Demands on Local Bodies

2. A Constitutional Dependence: Local Bodies in Search of Space in India's Fiscal Federalism

3. Devolving Neither Money Nor Power: The Role of SFCs in Strengthening Urban Local Bodies

4. Handicapped by Birth: Weak Revenues and Fiscal Dependence of Municipal Bodies

5. Neglecting Development: Spending Woes of Municipal Bodies

6. Developing as Growth Engines: Urban Reform and the Role of Municipal Bodies

7. Beyond the Fiscal Package: Local Governments as Executive Stakeholders

References and Further Reading



PRIA (Society for Participatory Research in Asia) is an International Centre for Learning and Promotion of Participation and Democratic Governance. Since its inception in 1982, PRIA has embarked on a set of key initiatives focusing on participatory research, citizen-centric development, capacity building, knowledge building and policy advocacy. With a combination of training, research and consultancy, it has grounded its work with conceptual rigour and understanding of social reality to command the strategic direction of interventions. PRIA works with a diverse range of partners at local, national and global levels.
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