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The main objective of the paper is to assess the status of urban decentralization in the state of Jharkhand in India and to relate it to some major implications on service delivery. We find that while some of the functions are assigned to the local bodies on paper, none of them are transferred by official notification which is a standard practice in India. As a result the functions are performed in an arbitrary manner. The functions which are assigned, are not necessarily performed by all the local bodies. The assignment of taxes and user charges is also optional. Even the property tax, which is the major source of own revenue, is optional rather than obligatory according to the Act. The situation is further exacerbated by a shortage of manpower in the local bodies. Even in the presence of two parastatal agencies and some development authorities, the service levels have continued to suffer. These are not only below the all India urban average but are much below norms prescribed for Indian cities.


International Center for Public Policy Working Paper Series #1114, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.

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