ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Articles By Abhay Pethe

Critical Importance of Cooperative Federalism

In addition to the three-pillar framework suggested by the Fifteenth Finance Commission, we suggest four constituents, namely the finance commission, NITI Aayog, goods and services tax, and de facto decentralisation, which will help strengthen the “cooperative” element—a key factor for Indian federation to work effectively. Further, the article focuses on finance commissions empowering the local governments and, in particular, assesses the Fifteenth Finance Commission’s thrust to empower the local bodies.

 

Unravelling the Anatomy of Legal Corruption

Corruption in India is ubiquitous and may be broadly classified as illegal and "legal". This paper delves into the typology of legal corruption, which, apart from abuse of discretionary powers and tactical law and policymaking, includes use of the information advantage by politicians to make private gains. Analysing the growth rates in assets of some politicians in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region, it finds that they are much higher than the market growth rate. The paper recommends enforcing greater transparency by disseminating information on all transactions conducted by politicians and implementing broad-based reforms to bring about system-wide changes.

Assessing the Mumbai Metropolitan Region: A Governance Perspective

This paper takes the position that a useful governance perspective must be informed by the socio-economiccultural milieu, and in the specific Indian context must sit on a tripod of "political reality", "state of decentralisation" and "basic economic principles". The Mumbai Metropolitan Region is one of the most important growth engines for India as it accrues tremendous revenues to the central and the Maharashtra state governments. The paper assesses the performance of the governance system in mmr which resembles a polycentric governance system - a system that has been heralded as being greatly suited to metropolitan regions by several scholars. It recognises that metropolitan governance is but a concept, since in reality it comprises a loose bundle of multiple actors and organisations. For sharper focus, the paper studies the interactions between the only two (dominant) public organisations in governance - Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai and the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority. The assessment reveals that the institutions - rules of the game - which are essential for the efficient functioning of polycentric governance system are missing in the region. It emphasises the need to bring about micro reforms in the institutional framework for polycentric governance to be successful in mmr.

Aide-memoire to the 13th Finance Commission on Devolution of Funds

A discussion of important issues on the horizontal and vertical equity in distribution of tax revenues which the 13th Finance Commission must grapple with as it heads towards completing its work. This article also suggests a formula for horizontal distribution of revenue that takes into account a number of appropriate criteria.

Towards Economic Empowerment of Urban Local Bodies in Maharashtra

Scarcity of resources for urban infrastructure is a universal concern in developing economies. Also, prudent mandate of macroeconomic management has led to a reduction in hand-downs from higher governments. The sub-national governments have had to look at several alternatives with a sense of urgency. In this paper we focus on the possibilities of the sub-national governments accessing, the financial markets in general and the debt market in particular. Our paper focuses on the need to create virtual entities - self-help groups amongst the urban local bodies - that could expand the domain of eligible ULBs. We visualise a scheme for capital market access by ULBs, which would work without the state acting as an intermediary and also without any new institution being set up. We provide the theoretical underpinnings, illustrate and operationalise the idea with the help of data related to ULBs in the state of Maharashtra.