Manipur has become fourth state in the country to successfully undertake reforms relating to urban local bodies (ULBs) as stipulated by the Department of Expenditure under Finance Ministry.

Thus the state has become eligible to mobilise additional financial resources of Rs 75 crore through open market borrowings, according to an official statement issued on Tuesday.

Manipur has now joined Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Telangana which have completed this reform. On completion of ULB reforms, these four states have been granted additional borrowing permission of Rs 7,481 crore.

Reforms in ULBs and urban utilities are aimed at strengthening finances and to enable states to provide better public health and sanitation services. Economically-rejuvenated ULBs will also be able to create good civic infrastructure.

In view of resource requirement to meet the challenges posed by COVID-19 pandemic, the government on May 17 last year enhanced the borrowing limit of states by two per cent of their gross states domestic product (GSDP).

Half of this special dispensation was linked to undertaking citizen-centric reforms. The states get permission to raise additional funds equivalent to 0.25 per cent of GSDP on completion of reforms in each sector.

The four citizen-centric areas identified for reforms are implementation of one nation one ration card system, ease of doing business, ULBs and utilities, and power sector.

So far, 10 states have implemented the one nation one ration card system, seven have done ease of doing business reforms and four have done local body reforms.

Total additional borrowing permission issued so far to the states stands at Rs 54,265 crore, according to the statement. (ANI)

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