Maharashtra Hits a Bumpy Road

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Maharastra had been among the top performers until a few years back. However, the state’s ranking has taken a beating this year due to a sharp drop in new e-Governance initiatives

The state of Maharashtra has always been a leader in industry and business in India. Maharashtra ranked eighth in SKOCH State of Governance 2018. The state stood at the third position in the years 2017 and 2016 and was at fourth position in the year 2015.

As part of the State of Governance study, SKOCH sent request letters and also contacted through different channels like telephones and emails to all ministries, departments, municipalities, district administration and other government bodies for sharing project details and their achievements. There was good response from across the government departments and organisations of Maharashtra. 32 projects were shortlisted for assessment and evaluation. All of these projects were thoroughly studied and examined by domain experts. Commendable projects were seen from different segments like Women & Child Development, Food & Civil Supplies and Municipal Governance.

performing pojects

SAMMAN Pranali

In order to ensure timely and accurate honorarium payment to Anganwadi sevikaand helpers, the Women and Child Development Department of Maharashtra has decided to automate the process of payment and a web-based and cloud support scalable application has been developed. The system manages honorarium processing smoothly and without errors, thereby eliminating risks related to manual processing. It is based on G2G service platform. The application has been developed to address the following:

• Centralised attendance system • Auto honorarium calculation and processing
• Real time customised report generation
• Auto disbursement of honorarium to Adhaar b
ased beneficiary account • Auto response file-generation regarding transaction details
• Auto reconciliation

Issuance of India’s Largest Municipal bond

Pune is amongst the few cities in the world to acquire for itself several noteworthy accolades like Oxford of the East, Start-Up City, Manufacturing Hub, Queen of Deccan, Pensioners Paradise and Cultural Capital of Maharashtra. Building on these strengths, Pune now aims to transform itself into the most liveable city in India under the framework provided by the Smart Cities Mission envisioned by the Prime Minister of India. Pune’s rapid geographic and demographic growth entails a big spike in the demand for water. In order to future-proof the city from a potential situation of water crisis, Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has conceived the ambitious and futuristic 24x7 water project. The main objectives of this project are providing safe and equitable water supply to all citizens for the next 30 years, distribution of water 24 hours every day, reducing the amounts of water losses and nonrevenue water and ensuring technological, economical and environmental sustainability of the water supply service.

In addition to the water project, PMC has undertaken important interventions aimed at increasing the supply & availability of potable water. The Corporation has supported the above mentioned infrastructure initiatives with an elaborate techno-financial-legal policy framework. It has unanimously adopted several progressive and citizen-centric guidelines and policies on adherence to service level benchmarks, stakeholder consultations, telescopic water tariffs and project-financing and debt servicing. One example of such progressive policies is the issue of PMCs municipal bonds to finance the above mentioned project. PMC’s 24x7 Water Project also provides the city a golden opportunity to put in place reliable, affordable and safe highspeed optic fiber cables along with the underground pipe-network. This novel utility service has the potential of becoming a robust and reliable revenue stream for PMC as the city leapfrogs into the digital age.

Pune is poised to add a new chapter in the country’s urban transformation saga based on Prime Minister’s vision of financially empowering urban local bodies. Pune launched India’s largest Municipal Bonds programme (s2,264 crore) on 22 June 2017 at the Bombay Stock Exchange, Mumbai. This is also the first issuance since the publication of Issue and Listing of Debt Securities by Municipalities Regulations, 2015 by Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI).

Recognising the fact that Municipal Bonds can be a useful tool to meet the city’s growing infrastructure-financing needs, Pune Municipal Corporation has been proactively working with the state government, Union Ministry of Finance (MoF), Union Ministry of Urban Development (MoUD), SEBI, SBI Capital Markets Ltd. (SBI Caps) and advisors from the US Department of Treasurys Office of Technical Assistance (OTA) in developing this new financial-asset-class. PMC proposes to raise bonds amounting to RS200 crore during the first tranche of its 5-year bond programme. PMC’s Standing Committee and General Body have approved a consumption based telescopic water tariff structure for the next 30 years. This policy will progressively increase the revenues generated from the 24x7 Water Project leading it towards selfsustenance. Additionally, as part of the structured escrow payment mechanism, a portion of PMCs Property Tax has also been pledged for the debt servicing of the bond program. As per the financialprudence prevailing at different points in time in the future while simultaneously adhering to the relevant regulatory framework, the bonds may also be partly/fully paid from PMCs several revenue sources.

Deendayal Antoday Yojana- National Urban livelihood Misssion

To improve the life state of women and to empower them with viable livelihood, Nagpur Municipal Corporation formed 10 women selfhelp groups (SHGs) and imparted them with leadership skills training and general capacity building. They further formed area level federations (ALFs), each of 10 SHGs. The women in these groups started making handmade products, but since it was difficult for them to market the products, they were provided with a market outlet. This outlet is at a prime market location and has been made available for the women entrepreneurs at no cost to them. The authorities also provided placements after skills training through an annual job fair.

Parivahan Rollout

Before the rollout of the Parivahan application, there were a number of issues and challenges that the Maharashtra Motor Vehicle Department as well as the citizens faced. All applications such as learner’s license, driving license and registration certificates required the citizens to physically visit the Regional Transport Office in their vicinity for their processing. Due to the high volume of footfall in these RTOs, people had to wait for long periods of time to resolve even a minor issue. Also, services such as change of address in driving license (DL), issue of duplicate DL, renewal of DL, additional endorsement to DL, replacement of DL in case of loss or damages and issue and cancellation of NOC were conducted offline, thereby making the RTOs inefficient besides increasing the time a person spent at the RTOs. The offline method of conducting transactions also greatly increased the degree of errors made in these applications. Besides these problems, all fees were collected in paper currency, and each RTO had to do a tally of revenue collected on daily basis. These processes were both timeconsuming and cumbersome. A single application would sometimes take weeks to resolve, causing the citizens to visit the RTO multiple times to follow up on his/her application status. This problem was further heightened by the fact that due to all transactions being conducted offline, there was no proper tracking mechanism in the RTOs.

Following are few of the benefits that have been witnessed due to Parivahan rollout:

• Transparency and accountability leads to improved image of government. Now that most of the process are being conducted online, and are more convenient for the citizens to use at their disposal, also helping in portraying an improved image of the government.
• Optimal and targeted resource utilisation based on analytics and reporting. It helps address the citizen’s issues in a more direct and targeted manner.
• Improved enforcement with driver offence history and vehicle records for compounding fee calculation and effective enforcement. It consolidates all offences made against a particular driver or vehicle, which is advantageous while identifying a repeated offender and helps in determining the amount of his compounding fee.
• Tracking of habitual offenders as mentioned in the point above, due to the consolidation of data for a particular driver or vehicles helps law enforcement officials identify a repeat offender as opposed to a onetime offender.
• Cash handling costs -Reduced cash management and time for revenue realisation due to online payments. The cost of handling cash is greatly reduced due to the introduction of online payments on this platform. This also eliminated the hassle of tallying monies gathered during the day.

Besides the above four projects, one more project that was narrowed down by SKOCH as a project with potential is in the Food and Civil Supplies sector. In its endeavour to drive and facilitate Ease of Doing Business and provide a robust and transparent automated system, referred as Vaidhmapan, the Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Protection Department has rolledout the extensive and comprehensive end-to-end computerisation system for Legal Metrology Organisation in Maharashtra. Vaidhmapan is one of the integrated service project and one of its kind in G2B initiative implemented in Legal Metrology Department, Government of Maharashtra. It helps in end-to-end solutions aimed at improving G2B services. Increased transparency, time saving and increased eciency are the benets, both consumers and staff of department can derive from Vaidhmapan.

The project is notable in its approach to promote a competitive environment to facilitate accurate measurement, fair trade practices, good business and safeguarding the interests of the licensees such as manufacturers, repairers, dealers as well as the users of the weighing and measuring instruments across all the regions of Maharashtra.

Catching up projects

There were a plethora of issues faced by the Women and Child Development Department (WCD) pertaining to more than 1 crore beneficiaries from more than 1 lakh Anganwadi Centres. These included lack of adequate security measures, manual data collection, delays in submission and human errors. To address this, a web-based Line Listing Software to facilitate growth monitoring of all its beneficiaries was launched.

The project covers all 553 Anganwadi projects, which track severe acute malnutrition, moderate acute malnutrition, vaccinations, monitoring of adolescent girls, tracking of pregnancy and delivery death list and so on.

In its endeavour to drive and facilitate ease-of-doing business and provide a robust and transparent automated system, referred as Vaidhmapan, the Food & Civil Supplies and Consumer Protection Department has rolled out an extensive and comprehensive end-to-end computerisation system for Legal Metrology Organisation in the state.

Challenges ahead

Agriculture is an area that the government of Maharashtra needs to focus on. Crops have been destroyed on a large scale due to unpredictable weather and poor rainfall. The Economic Survey of Maharashtra has projected a negative agriculture growth at 8.3 per cent for financial year 2017-18 on account of decreased production of food-grains, pulses and cotton crops.

Droughts, inadequate pricing policies and poor water management have hit agriculture in the state. The production of cereals, pulses, oilseeds and cotton is expected to decrease by 4 per cent, 46 per cent, 15 per cent and 44 per cent, respectively. The area under cereals, pulses and oilseeds has decreased by 42 per cent, 6 per cent and 60 per cent, respectively over the previous year As per the survey, the area under Rabi crops (as on January 5, 2018) is 31 per cent less over the previous year.

Another aspect of the Maximum City is its health that is really critical due to lack of open spaces, greenery, transport facilities and the almost exhausted expansion. The financial capital has lot of pressure, and the government has its hands full due to this aspect. After taking up the agenda of infrastructure so aggressively, the government will now have to deliver through timely execution of projects.

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