Proposal for city-level GDP under study

With urban India responsible for an increasingly large share of the national GDP, the Centre now hopes to bring out city-level GDP data. This could help both cities and investors make wise decisions, and also help municipal bodies raise funds for their own infrastructure needs, according to a senior official at the Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry. The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) — the research and analysis division of the same group which brings out the The Economist news magazine of the U.K. — recently did a feasibility study of various models to calculate city-level GDPs for the Ministry. Its report was released earlier this week. City-level GDP data, he said, could help municipal bodies make better decisions on needed infrastructure and investment, and also leverage their economic strength to raise funds to finance their needs. Mr. Kumar pointed out that the Pune municipal corporation — which he headed till recently — had been able to raise Rs. 200 crore in municipal bonds at a respectable rate of 7.59%, but could have aimed higher given that its annual budget is well over Rs. 4,000 crore.

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