The Jammu and Kashmir Government will encourage and incentivize best performing Municipalities through additional grant-in-aid in the form of Urban Reform Incentive Fund (URIF) under Aspirational Towns Development Programme (ATDP).
The ranking of the Municipalities across J&K will be based on the performance as per the benchmarks prescribed under Jammu & Kashmir Municipal Development Index-2022 (J&K MDI-2022). Special funds will also be provided for building capacities and covering gaps in these Municipalities.
J&K MDI–2022 is a tool to assess the development of Urban Local Bodies across the Union Territory of J&K against the normative development benchmarks.
While J&K MDI will act as a guide to evidence-based policy making, catalyse action to achieve broader developmental outcomes, including the Sustainable Development Goals, assess and compare the outcomes achieved by municipal bodies, give citizens an insight into the functioning of local bodies and build a dialogue between the stakeholders, the URIF will provide necessary financial incentive to Municipalities to undertake reforms, in their journey of becoming Aspirational Towns.
Notably, J&K rolled out ATDP, the URIF to incentivize undertaking of reforms in Municipalities, and the Assessment Framework for rating various Municipalities.
Since the 74th Amendment Act gave constitutional recognition to Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) as the third tier of governance in 1993, municipalities have become pivotal to urban governance. It is therefore apparent that the development and governance of the cities is determined by the functioning of Municipalities. They are the key agents that provide the enablers into making a city ‘Smart, and Sustainable.
The assessment framework examines the sectoral performance of Municipalities across a set of 7 verticals/pillars, namely Quality of Life and Services; Economic Ability; Technology; Urban Planning, Governance, Sustainability & Climate Resilience and Citizen Perception, which include 37 sectors/categories and 138 indicators.
The Municipal Development Index will also act as a guide to evidence-based policy making, catalyse action to achieve broader developmental outcomes including the Sustainable Development Goals, assess and compare the outcomes achieved by municipal bodies, give citizens an insight into the functioning of local bodies and hold them accountable.