The Structure of Local Government in India

The structure of local governments of various states or provinces in different countries is one of the integral determinants of the general economic state of those countries where the local governments are active. This involves in various functions bestowed upon the various bodies and departments as well as their jurisdictions regarding overseeing and recommending of various decisions that affect the economy of various these states which eventually affects the general economy. India and China are countries that have different local governments in terms of structures and functionality which affects their economies in different ways. Whereas the authority may be bestowed upon these local governments to help in improving the economy through devolution, the economy may not end up exhibiting the desired outcomes due to different values of the dependent variables in different people, organizations, and bodies that give oversee and evaluate on the policies established.

India, as a nation is governed mainly by urban local governments, divided into municipal corporations, municipal councils, and Nagar Panchayats which assist the federal government in running the country (Swift). It performs functions like construction and maintenance of streets; providing of water and sewerage facilities, maintaining of the health institutions, maintaining public parks, provision of transport facilities and improvement of the general welfare of citizens of India.  However, these of urban bodies’ functions often overlap with those of state agencies, a matter that poses a challenge to the general economy of India as a nation.  It is from the  overlapping functions that the individual behaviors of occupants in offices of these bodies that complexity in coordinating resources and policies aimed towards the improvement of the economy arise, making local government become a great hindrance  to the expected economic growth rate that such advantaged countries are supposed to be having 

It is true that the different local government structures have different individuals and departments which have a mandated to evaluate various measures directed at ensuring the various economic reforms and plans are established (The Legit Eye). The reasoning, mentality, and suggestion may be different depending on a number of factors that lie especially in variables than constants. For instance, the voting or an assumption of different leaders into various positions provide different directions and recommendations on the type of decisions to be taken which are not often rational towards ensuring the various sectors in the economy are performing to the expected standards. This often leads to the different economic growth rates in different sectors and regions which this polices have or decisions have to be implemented.

In addition to that, the idea of democracy also has subjected the economy of different states to be at risk especially from the right to express oneself which may be influenced by the individual interest rather than the general interest of the whole society (Bardhan et al. pg. 136).  The politics that are usually a common element in any local government available in any state may often hinder various decisions made regarding improving the economic sector such as infrastructure, education sectors and other sectors that are crucial in illustrating how the economy of a nation is. Policies related to city, municipal and local governments sectors are often affected by a lot of factors which hinder them from being fulfilled, an issue causes the economy to be at different dilemmas hence making it possible to differential a successful economy from that that is not successful.

Basing on India the 74th

constitution Amendment Act Amalgamated that provides devolution of some authority and functions Urban Local Bodies (ULBS), the federal government is mandated to exercise democracy through delegation of powers and duties. From this Act power bestowed among the Urban Law Bodies clearly aims at ensuring that there was an equal distribution of resources to cities under local governments and bodies which would enhance economic development in those states so as to help improve the general economy of India (The World Bank). However, these structures were not established to be in a uniform manner across all states in India. With the different political and administrative issues that are normal to any organizations, these have always made the devolved bodies and local governments  fail to execute their main role of the establishment to help trigger and enhance economic development in India alongside ensuring that appropriate democratic states which would help to improve the living standards of residents in India.

For instance, in India, the Urban planning, building constructions, and land use regulation is a function restored upon the development authority of the city governments such as Bangalore Development Authority and the Delhi Development Authority. However, this function also lies in the functions of the number of bodies such as the regional development authorities as well as the industrial development authorities which makes it difficult for implementing a decision made by the city development authorities (The World Bank). This is due to political differences, opinions, and influences that different individuals have. In other words, they depend on variable values of each and every individual leader in the assemblies representing his or her ward on the economic growth becomes critical issues which hinder economic growth in not only the states in which this decision originate but also to the general economy of the Republic of India.

In addition to that, the municipal city government has the mandate to plan for economic and social development. With the different ideas and bodies alongside limited financial resources, the city has failed to adhere to the expected standards of the urban structures. According to the recent report from the HPEC, most municipal governments have failed to adhere to the appropriate capacity building with limited and inefficient sound planning’s that is also one of the major indicators of a well-developed economy ( Goel). This local government limitations especially witnessed widely in the municipal types of governments is a result of the so many issues that the cities need to address as raised by different groups of people who belong in these cities. There the limited resources verse the unlimited demand causes the unequal distribution of these resources to the various sectors.

Apart from that the sanitation, public health, and solid waste management are functions delegated Urban Local Bodies and funded by the central government. However, with the different groups available in these cities and towns, the resource allocated often fails to reach and help many citizens due to the idea of class, and supreme groups voted for by individuals into the various post available in the local governments (Goel). The end result leads to limited amount resource sources planned and directed towards these sectors. This clearly indicates that with the hot debates available in these local bodies regarding power and their overlapping functions regarding allocation to various sectors, the implies that local government in India are not in position to  properly handle  such roles that were initially handled by the federal government of India which aims at improving the economy of the country.  With these poor services, the citizens continue to live in poor living standards, which reflect the poor economic states of the residents.


 Alleviation of urban poverty is another mandated role stated in the Twelfth Schedule which is bestowed upon the local governments. This function under the local government is supposed to be well specified to local governments in India as a country with respect to local bodies in those various cities and municipalities to ensure that all members inhabiting these cities witness the improvements in the efficiency of various sectors meant in their localities in India (The World Bank). Coordination of and the comprehensive attention that is needed by the local governments are not sufficient enough to trigger the yield the expected result of having the devolution in place. This may be due to the irrational decisions from the complex administrative structures of the local government that makes decision-making process,   difficult process. Therefore this derails the economic development that would have been made if the federal government would be.

Data income from the various local government shows that different local governments have different tax rates and tax systems. Those local governments having the high tax system such as Haryana have an improved economy compared to other towns that have a low tax system such as the Rajasthan which that has the lowest tax shares. With this, it is clear that the general economy of India as a country may be hindered from attaining the desired level due to some towns recording low tax shares. A low tax share is an indication of low economic development. For an economy to be termed as that that has improved, the inequality exhibited in the society such as this tax system should not exist as to ensure that there is a reasonable amount that each and every citizen pays to inform of taxes as a result of the stability of the economy (The World Bank). In the long run, the resources that would have been meant to be used by the federal government in improving other sectors which are as significant to the general economic growth are channeled towards the helping these specific states, hence indicating that the local governments are not appropriate in helping in the growth of the economy.

Basing on the local governments in China, the country has a population of1.3 billion people with twenty-two provinces and five regions which are autonomous (Zhang et al pg.9). County-level administration represents designations from cities at the county level to cities at the provincial level.  This means that the local governments in China are also integral units responsible for the current China economic growth.

The socio-political local government system is also woefully lacking by the standards of the liberal democratic system, but nevertheless has attested a capability of sustaining economic reforms and a noteworthy success in its growth (Public Administration on The One). During the national development process, local governments can be significant actors in embracing and implementing policies which would promote growth in China’s national economy as well as promote local benefits. During the Chinese economic reform period, local governments played a crucial role in fostering GDP growth although there are now doubts about whether this role is sustainable. Local governments in China have influenced both the achievement and letdowns of economic growth in their jurisdictions and have shaped the transition process itself through their behavior and response to Central government incentives.

With these local governments in place given that China is one of the most economically developed nations in the world these still exist effects of dependent variables exhibited by people occupying offices at the local government level (Public Administration on The One).  In addition to that, the numerous formalities and interests of citizens under the authority of various local governments especially at the county level hindermost of the implementation of the decision regarding growth. It should be remembered that even though China is one of the leading countries in terms of the economic development, this is stumbling block that would have advocated for a more economic growth rate to be recorded by the country. Therefore the economic development and growth is a dependent variable is being influenced by the political nature regarding the distribution of resources.

The local governments of China have recorded highest level of corruption emanating from the local leaders occupying leadership positions implying that the voting aspect of such a country is a letdown due to the selection of inappropriate leaders into local government offices (Zhou, pg. 34).  This is also brought about by the different political behavior of leaders voted or chosen into office who have different intentions and propaganda. The high levels of corruption in form of bribery and land grabbing exhibited by the leaders are a great hindrance to the expected level of economic growth rate. In addition to that, they hinder improvements aimed towards in raising the living standards of the citizens in China, since money generated often gets into wrong hands and spent inappropriately hence making the economy in most occasions experience inflation. Therefore this hinders the various sector of Chinas economy from being attended to due to embezzlement of funds.

With the local government in position, the power and authority of the federal government no longer felt but limited towards overseeing functions of local governments to ensure equality in the society. Most local governments in China fail to take into consideration directives from Beijing which is the central governing city of the local governments (Zhang et al pg.12).  This has overturned the initial expectation of territorial administration whereby most Chinese local government seem to possess more authority than any other government in China in ruining the various provinces and districts thus an indication of a country that is divided rather than united as it was initially. This is a factor that possesses a threat to the general economy of the country.

In addition to that, the diversified local government system that runs starts from the city official up to the village use a large portion of the revenues obtained from citizens that are meant to improve their living standards in payment of salaries and other related expenditure( Zhou, pg. 37).  With a large government structure, a lot of o resources are spent towards maintaining the structure so as to provide services to the individual. However, the Chinese local governments obtain a lot of resources which would have been very crucial in making sure that various sectors of the economy are well attended to which eventually leads to an economic growth. This explains the idea of independent variable and power in wrong hands yet individual beliefs in democracy as the best form of governance.

 The unhealthy politics involved in the People Congress which is under the Chines local governments’ initiative raises a number of question regarding its efficiency and reliability. Even if it is a representation of a democratic society where people can air out their interest, often there are no rational decisions that are always made towards ensuring that the general economy of China is improved (Zhang, et al pg.15). Occasionally various leaders with different interest usually complicate and disrupt different microeconomic policies that aim to boost the economy of China with unreasonable ideas which are persuasive to other members yet not important. This interrupts the expected growth rate at which China is supposed to be exhibiting competing favorably with developed other nations like the United States of America. Hence the local governments being termed as a derailing factor to the economic growth of the country.

However, even though the local governments may be stumbling blocks to the general economic growth of a country, it creates a platform where citizens can be able to practice democracy. This democracy extends up to the level making decisions that affect individual citizens, a factor that would not have been responded quickly by the federal government (Amadeo). The ability of citizens leaving precise areas to inaugurate rational decisions to offset problems affecting them is easily accomplished by the local governments than the federal government, which seem to stimulate the economic growth to be at a high rate. This is also supported greatly by the idea that dependent variable that suggests the most similar depend on variable exhibit different results.

Additions to this counterargument, the local governments have a lot of resources which they generate from their operations in the cities and municipals which is an indication of their ability to foster economic growth. This resource could not have been generated if citizens of these two countries were still depending on the federal government resources which take a lot of time to reach them and help the common citizens as well improve the general economy (Public Administration on The One). In addition to that, some fail completely to accomplish their desired goals due to limitations associated with accomplishment large economic sectors and embezzlement of funds as it passes through the long hierarchy available in the federal government.

However, comparing the rate at which economic development was evident during governance by the federal government, the economic growth was relatively higher as compared to the extent to which these local governments are upholding it. With the high resources pumped towards maintaining the local government structures, the economic rates are supposed to have surpassed those that were being exhibited by the federal government with a higher margin (Amadeo). In addition to that with the different political behaviors of different leaders under the local government, there are money leakage that is collected in large amount but spent less towards improvement of infrastructure, social amenities and other integral areas that portray a stable and improved economy of that particular state, provide city or country in the long run.

Therefore with the adoption on local governments by most nations as illustrated using India and China, the expected economic growth rate has not yet been met with regards to what the local governments in the various nations ought to initiate in ensuring there is an improved economy. This is due to the various dependent variables resulting from the unhealthy politics that arise regarding resource allocations and investments that are the foundation of a stable and improved economy. Most of this politics are a result of unhealthy political behaviors of citizens who elect inappropriate leaders and the unfit leaders into local government’s position. Therefore these different local governments in two different countries, there exists the same outcomes with a slight difference in the intensity in which the outcome arises in the countries.

Work cited

“Public Administration on The One”. Public Adminstration. 24 Sept. 2012, urban-local-government-municipal.html. Accessed 23 April.2018.

“The World Bank.” Urbanization in India.2011, Accessed 23 Mar. 2018

Amit Goel. “Advantages and Disadvantages of Local Self Government.” Important India 12 July 2015, Accessed 23 Mar. 2018

Bahl, Roy W. Fiscal policy in china: Taxation and intergovernmental fiscal relations. University of Michigan Press, 1999.

Bardhan, Pranab K., and Dilip Mookherjee. "Capture and governance at local and national levels." American Economic Review 90.2 (2000): 135-139.

Kimerly Amadeo. “China's Economic Growth: Cause, Pros, Cons, Future.” The Balance. 7 Mar.2018, Accessed 23 Mar.2018.

Nick Swift. “Local government reforms in China are led by big cities”. City Mayors Government 09. 23 Oct 2004, Accessed 23 April 2018.

The Legit Eye. Functions " Responsibilities of Local Bodies in India, 2017, Accessed 23 Oct. 2018.

Zhang, Jingxiang, and Fulong Wu. "China's changing economic governance: Administrative annexation and the reorganization of local governments in the Yangtze River Delta." Regional Studies 40.1 (2006): 3-21.

Zhou, Li-An. "The Incentive and Cooperation of Government Officials in the Political Tournaments: An Interpretation of the Prolonged Local Protectionism and Duplicative Investments in China [J]." Economic Research Journal 6 (2004): 33-40.

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