The following eight types of urban local bodies are created in India for the administration of urban areas:
• Municipal Corporation
are created for the administration of big cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Bangalore and others. They are established in the states by the acts of the concerned state legislatures, and in the union territories by the acts of the Parliament of India. There may be one common act for all the municipal corporations in a state or a separate act for each municipal corporation.
A municipal corporation has three authorities, namely, the council, the standing committees and the commissioner.
The Council is the deliberative and legislative wing of the corporation. It consists of the Councillors directly elected by the people, as well as a few nominated persons having knowledge or experience of municipal administration. In brief, the composition of the Council including the reservation of seats for SCs, STs and women is governed by the 74th Constitutional Amendment Act.
The Council is headed by a Mayor. He is assisted by a Deputy Mayor. He is elected in a majority of the states for a one-year renewable term. He is basically an ornamental figure and a formal head of the corporation. His main function is to preside over the meetings of the Council.
The standing committees are created to facilitate the working of the council, which is too large in size. They deal with public works, education, health, taxation, finance and so on. They take decisions in their fields.
The municipal commissioner is responsible for the implementation of the decisions taken by the council and its standing committees. Thus, he is the chief executive authority of the corporation. He is appointed by the state government and is generally a member of the IAS.
The municipalities are established for the administration of towns and smaller cities. Like the corporations, they are also set up in the states by the acts of the concerned state legislatures and in the union territory by the acts of the Parliament of India. They are also known by various other names like municipal council, municipal committee, municipal board, borough municipality, city municipality and others.
Like a municipal corporation, a municipality also has three authorities, namely, the council, the standing committees and the chief executive officer.
The council is the deliberative and legislative wing of the municipality. It consists of the councillors directly elected by the people.
The council is headed by a president/chairman. He is assisted by a vice- president/vice-chairman. He presides over the meetings of the council. Unlike the Mayor of a municipal corporation, he plays a significant role and is the pivot of the municipal administration. Apart from presiding over the meetings of the Council, he enjoys executive powers.
The standing committees are created to facil-itate the working of the council. They deal with public works, taxation, health, finance and so on.
The chief executive officer/chief municipal officer is responsible for day- to-day general administration of the municipality. He is appointed by the state government.
3. Notified Area Committee
A notified area committee is created for the administration of two types of areas—a fast developing town due to industrialisation, and a town which does not yet fulfil all the conditions necessary for the constitution of a municipality, but which otherwise is considered important by the state government. Since it is established by a notification in the government gazette, it is called as notified area committee. Though it functions within the framework of the State Municipal Act, only those provisions of the act apply to it which are notified in the government gazette by which it is created. It may also be entrusted to exercise powers under any other act. Its powers are almost equivalent to those of a municipality. But unlike the municipality, it is an entirely nominated body, that is, all the members of a notified area committee including the chairman are nominated by the state government. Thus, it is neither an elected body nor a statutory body.
4. Town Area Committee
A town area committee is set up for the administration of a small town. It is a semi-municipal authority and is entrusted with a limited number of civic functions like drainage, roads, street lighting, and conservancy. It is created by a separate act of a state legislature. Its composition, functions and other matters are governed by the act. It may be wholly elected or wholly nominated by the state government or partly elected and partly nominated.
5. Cantonment Board
A cantonment board is established for municipal administration for civilian population in the cantonment area. It is set up under the provisions of the Cantonments Act of 2006—a legislation enacted by the Central government. It works under the administrative control of the defence ministry of the Central government. Thus, unlike the above four types of urban local bodies, which are created and administered by the state government, a cantonment board is created as well as administered by the Central government.
The Cantonments Act of 2006 was enacted to consolidate and amend the law relating to the administration of cantonments with a view to impart greater democratisation, improvement of their financial base to make provisions for developmental activities and for matters connected with them. This Act has repealed the Cantonments Act of 1924.
A cantonment board consists of partly elected and partly nominated members. The elected members hold office for a term of five years while the nominated members (i.e., ex-officio members) continue so long as they hold the office in that station. The military officer commanding the station is the ex-officio president of the board and presides over its meetings. The vicepresident of the board is elected by the elected members from amongst themselves for a term of five years.
The Category I cantonment board consists of the following members:
(i) A military officer commanding the station
(ii) An executive engineer in the cantonment
(iii) A health officer in the cantonment
(iv) A first class magistrate nominated by the district magistrate
(v) Three military officers nominated by the officer commanding the station
(vi) Eight members elected by the people of the cantonment area
(vii) Chief Executive Officer of the cantonment board
The functions performed by a cantonment board are similar to those of a municipality. These are statutorily categorised into obligatory functions and discretionary functions. The sources of income includes both, tax revenue and non-tax revenue.
The executive officer of the cantonment board is appointed by the president of India. He implements all the resolutions and decisions of the board and its committees. He belongs to the central cadre established for the purpose.
This type of urban government is established by the large public enterprises to provide civic amenities to its staff and workers who live in the housing colonies built near the plant. The enterprise appoints a town administrator to look after the administration of the township. He is assisted by some engineers and other technical and non-technical staff. Thus, the township form of urban government has no elected members. In fact, it is an extension of the bureaucratic structure of the enterprises.
7. Port Trust
The port trusts are established in the port areas like Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai and so on for two purposes: (a) to manage and protect the ports; and (b) to provide civic amenities. A port trust is created by an Act of Parliament. It consists of both elected and nominated members. Its chairman is an official. Its civic functions are more or less similar to those of a municipality.
8. Special Purpose Agency
In addition to these seven area-based urban bodies (or multipurpose agencies), the states have set up certain agencies to undertake designated activities or specific functions that ‘legitimately’ belong to the domain of municipal corporations or municipalities or other local urban governments. In other words, these are function-based and not area-based. They are known as ‘single purpose’, ‘uni-purpose’ or ‘special purpose’ agencies or ‘functional local bodies’. Some such bodies are:
1. Town improvement trusts.
2. Urban development authorities.
3. Water supply and sewerage boards.
4. Housing boards.
5. Pollution control boards.
6. Electricity supply boards.
7. City transport boards.
These functional local bodies are established as statutory bodies by an act of state legislature or as departments by an executive resolution. They function as autonomous bodies and deal with the functions allotted to them independently of the local urban governments, that is, municipal corporations or municipalities and so forth. Thus, they are not subordinate agencies of the local municipal bodies.
There are three types of municipal personnel systems in India. The personnel working in the urban governments may belong to any one or all the three types. These are
1. Separate Personnel System: Under this system, each local body appoints, administers, and controls its own personnel. They are not transferable to other local bodies. It is the most widely prevalent system. This system upholds the principle of local autonomy and promotes undivided loyalty.
2. Unified Personnel System: In this system, the state government appoints, administers, and controls the municipal personnel. In other words, state-wide services (cadres) are created for all the urban bodies in the state. They are transferable between the local bodies in the state. This system is prevalent in Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and so on.
3. Integrated Personnel System: Under this system, the personnel of the state government and those of the local bodies form part of the same service. In other words, the municipal personnel are the members of the state services. They are transferable not only between the local bodies in the state but also between local bodies and departments of state government. Thus, there is no distinction between local civil service and state civil service. This system is prevalent in Odisha, Bihar, Karnataka, Punjab, Haryana and others.
The various national level institutions providing training to the municipal personnel are
1. All-India Institute of Local Self-Government (Mumbai) constituted in 1927; it is a private registered society
2. Centre for Urban and Environmental Studies (New Delhi) set up in 1967 on the recommendation of Nur-ud-din Ahmed Committee on Training of Municipal Employees (1963-1965)
3. Regional Centres for Urban and Environmental Studies (Kolkata, Lucknow, Hyderabad and Mumbai) set up in 1968 on the recommendation of Nur-ud-din Ahmed Committee on Training of Municipal Employees (1963-1965)
4. National Institute of Urban Affairs, established in 1976
5. Human Settlement Management Institute, established in 1985 MUNICIPAL REVENUE
There are five sources of income of the urban local bodies. These are as follows:
1. Tax Revenue: The revenue from the local taxes include property tax, entertainment tax, taxes on advertisements, professional tax, water tax, tax on animals, lighting tax, pilgrim tax, market tax, toll on new bridges, octroi and so on. In addition, the municipal bodies imposes various cesses like library cess, education cess, beggary cess and so on. Octroi (i.e., taxes on the entry of goods into a local area for consumption, use or sale therein) has been abolished in most of the states. Property tax is the most important tax revenue.
2. Non-Tax Revenue: This source include rent on municipal properties, fees and fines, royalty, profits and dividends, interest, user charges and miscellaneous receipts. The user charges (i.e., payment for public utilities) include water charges, sanitation charges, sewerage charges and so on.
3. Grants: These include the various grants given to municipal bodies by the Central and State Governments for several development programmes, infrastructure schemes, urban reform initiatives and so on.
4. Devolution: This consists of the transfer of funds to the urban local bodies from the state government. This devolution is made on the basis of the recommendations of the state finance commission.
5. Loans: The urban local bodies raise loans from the state government as well as financial institutions to meet their capital expenditure. They can borrow from the financial institutions or other bodies only with the approval of the state government.