As many as 13 States and Union Territories (UTs) including Delhi, Punjab, Uttarakhand and a chunk of north-eastern states, have not submitted their yearly performance reports to the Ministry of Urban Development under the government’s flagship Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT).
According to data accessed by BusinessLine , 23 States and UTs out of total 36 have submitted reports to the nodal Ministry on the initiatives taken under the mission in 2015-16. These account for 436 major cities and towns including capital cities and those with over one lakh population. Of the 436 cities, only 131 have reported 90 per cent collection of user charges and municipal taxes, the data showed. Cities such as Lucknow, Allahabad, Mathura, Chandigarh, Raipur, Surat, Vadodara, Mysuru, Tirupati, Vijayawada, Cuttack and Aizawl have reported collection of 90 per cent of municipal taxes and user charges. Meanwhile, as many as 409 have launched city websites, 329 have shifted to double entry accounting that gives a clear picture of assets and liabilities, 345 have introduced energy and water audit to ensure efficient use and 247 have introduced separate accounts for user charges.
These reports and claims by the States were scrutinised in the Ministry for rewarding top performers under AMRUT.
The Ministry had set aside ₹400 crore for incentivising reform performance which was given to 19 States and Chandigarh during the recent India Sanitation conference. Tamil Nadu had topped the list of performing States.
“In the first year of implementation of the mission i.e 2015-16, 20 of the 36 States and UTs have reported good progress. This is mostly on account of urban local bodies awakening to the need for doing things differently. While three States fell short of the cut off mark of 70 per cent for giving reforms incentive, 13 States/UTs did not send self-assessment reports to the Ministry. “This highlights the element of honesty in self-assessment besides an acknowledgement of the distance to be travelled. Some of them have come close to the benchmark while others are expected to catch up during this fiscal,” a Ministry spokesperson said.
Progress in this regard is being regularly discussed and particularly, with those which are lagging behind in some respects and the Ministry gets quarterly progress reports on the mission’s implementation, he said, adding that with a good start in the first year, the Ministry is hopeful that the Atal Mission would prove to be different from JNNURM experience.
“The Ministry is working on some other ways of ensuring timely implementation of reforms,” the spokesperson stated.