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Centre releases Rs 4,189 crore grant-in-aid to rural local bodies
New Delhi: The Central government on Wednesday released Rs 4,189.58 crore as grant-in-aid to rural local bodies in Karnataka, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, and Gujarat.
The Department of Expenditure, Ministry of Finance, has released the amount. Out of the total Rs 4,189.58 crore released, Uttar Pradesh got the highest Rs 2239.80 crore. Karnataka got Rs 628.07 crore, Tripura got Rs 44.10 crore, Andhra Pradesh received Rs 569.01 crore, and Gujarat got Rs 708.60 crore for providing grants to the rural local bodies.
This grant-in-aid is the first installment of Tied grants of the year 2022-23 released in favour of Karnataka, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh and the second installment of Tied grants of the year 2021-22 released in favour of Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat, the Ministry of Finance said in a statement.
The 15th Finance Commission recommended Tied grants are released to Rural Local Bodies (RLBs) on the recommendations of the Department of Drinking Water & Sanitation for making improvements on two critical services namely (a) Sanitation and maintenance of open-defecation free (ODF) status and (b) supply of drinking water, rainwater harvesting and water recycling.
Out of the total grant-in-aid earmarked for Panchayati Raj institutions, 60 percent is earmarked for national priorities like drinking water supply, rainwater harvesting and sanitation (referred as tied grants), while 40 percent is untied and is to be utilised at the discretion of the Panchayati Raj institutions for location specific felt needs.
The Local Body grants are meant to ensure additional funds to rural local bodies over and above the funds allocated by the Centre and the State for sanitation and drinking water under the Centrally Sponsored Schemes.
In order to be eligible for grants during the years 2021-22 and 2022-23, Rural Local Bodies have to fulfill certain conditions. These conditions have been stipulated to enhance transparency, regular conduct of elections to the local bodies and preparation of annual development plans by the local bodies.
To receive both tied and untied grants, it is mandatory to prepare and make available online, in the public domain by at least 25 percent of the local bodies, both provisional accounts of the previous year and the audited accounts of the year before the previous year. Moreover, the accounts must be uploaded on eGramswaraj and Audit Online portal. The grant is released only to those local bodies which are duly elected.
In addition, to be eligible to receive tied grant, Rural Local bodies shall upload development plans on eGramSwaraj containing details of Annual Action Plan for Sanitation and Drinking Water Supply. Annual Action Plan for Drinking Water Supply shall include details about Supply of drinking water, rainwater harvesting and water recycling. Annual Action Plan for Sanitation shall include the status & maintenance of ODF and planning and implementation of SLWM interventions in the local body. Local bodies must also upload the details of utilisation 15th F.C. funds [both components] on the website.
The States are required to transfer the grants to the local bodies within 10 working days of receipt from the Union Government. Any delay beyond 10 working days requires the State Governments to release the grants with interest, the ministry said. (ANI)