Living in Faridabad might not be such a bad idea. According to the latest draft credit ratings by the government, civic amenities in Faridabad are far better than some bigger and more popular cities like Agra, Meerut, Dehradun, Amritsar, Haridwar and Shimla.
The credit rating of 46 Urban Local Bodies (ULB’s) spread across 19 Indian cities initiated by the Union Urban Development Ministry (UDM) under its flagship Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) is being carried out to assess the credit worthiness of municipalities in different cities.
This will help them to raise money from the market to fund various
infrastructure projects in their respective cities.
“Depending on their rating, the ULBs can raise money from the market by floating municipal bonds or other forms of debt to meet the funding gap,” said a ministry official.
Faridabad is the only city in the National Capital Region (Delhi and surrounding areas) that has found mention in the first list of 46 ULBs whose credit rating has been completed. The credit rating of Delhi is yet to be done.
In a grading category that starts with AAA (which indicates highest degree of credit worthiness) and goes on till D (high risk with lowest degree of credit worthiness), Faridabad has been graded as BBB (moderate degree of strength with regard to meeting debt obligations on time).
Of the 46 ULBs that have been rated, Navi Mumbai and Greater Mumbai in Maharashtra fare the best with “AA” followed by Chandigarh, Ahmedabad and Kolkata with “A+”.
Tier-two cities like Nagpur and Kanpur have been rated as “A” while Jaipur, Mysore, Chennai, Madurai and Coimbatore have been rated “BBB+”.
While northern Indian cities like Shimla, Meerut, Lucknow and Agra have been given BB (inadequate degree of strength with regards to timely repayment of debt), Haridwar and Varanasi has been graded as B+ (high degree of risk with regard o meeting debt obligation).
“The process of credit rating is at a draft stage and would be finalised soon in consulation with the ULBs. The initial rating exercise will assess the current health of each ULB and also sensitise them to specific areas in which improvements are required,” said M. Ramachandran, Union Urban Development secretary.
“At present, the ratings of 46 ULBs in 19 cities have been carried out. In subsequent phases the remaining 44 cities that have been selected under the JNNURM scheme would be covered,” he added.
The agencies had taken into account parameters like economic base of the city and municipal management while rating the cities. The exercise was started in 2007 and would be completed by the end of this month.