Performance Evaluation of Urban Local Governments: A Case for Indian Cities
The paper assesses the performances of the urban local bodies in the state of Karnataka in India.We use non parametric Data Envelopment Analysis as a tool to measure technical efficiencies of the ULBs. If we compare the services in a particular size class of city with the norms we find that in the smallest size class it is water supply which has the minimum shortfall from norms, in the medium size cities it is road density which is closest to the norms and in the largest city size class it is the solid waste management which performs the best with zero shortfall from norms. On an average for all the services there is a shortage of 57 per cent of the ONM expenditure norms, the shortage being the highest (64 per cent) in the biggest size class of cities. If we compare across size classes we find that bigger cities have on an average higher proportions of ONM expenditures while both salary and establishment components show higher proportions in smaller cities. This is indicative to the fact that bigger cities are incurring more productive expenses than the smaller ones. We find that the overall average collection efficiency of property taxes is only 62 per cent which is the lowest in the smallest size class and the highest in the medium size class with little variation across cities. We find that only 27.5 per cent of the ONM expenditure requirements can be fulfilled by the own revenues once the potential for the latter is fully realised. This proportion is higher in bigger cities with moderately high variation across cities. As far as the ONM cost coverage is concerned we find that on an average the ULBs in Karnataka can finance 50 per cent of the ONM costs on basic services through their own revenues with a very high variation in the proportions across cites. We find that the ULBs on an average can reduce 27 per cent of their expenditures on ONM, labor and establishment to provide the same levels of services provided currently by them. We also find that there can be additional savings particularly on establishment and labor expenditures to operate at the maximum efficiency levels. We find that the extent of problem of unproductive spending and under-provision of services is more pronounced in smaller cities.
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