CPD-CMI Working Paper Series
Contributors: Debapriya Bhattacharya, Mobasser Monem and Umme Shefa Rezbana
Publication Period: November 2013
This study, in the context of Bangladesh, explores the nature and extent of devolution of fiscal and financial powers to the city corporations/municipalities – the urban local government institutions. The study contends that these institutions are characterised by high dependence on the central government transfers, acute fiscal stress and weak accountability mechanism leading to loss of fiscal autonomy. Major spending heads of these institutions are expenditures on establishments, social/religious institutions, land development; whereas health, sanitation and education expenditures receive low allocations. The study reveals that quality of the basic services rendered by the city corporations/municipalities is quite poor; indeed, some of the inhabitants of the municipalities are even in favour of reverting to the erstwhile union parishad regime. The proposal to establish a permanent Local Government Finance Commission seems to enjoy extensive support.