Centre releases Rs 4,189 crore as grant in aid to 5 states

The Central government on Wednesday released funds totalling Rs 4,189.58 crore to Karnataka, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, and Gujarat for providing grants to rural local bodies.

This grant in aid is the first installment of tied grants of the current fiscal released for Karnataka, Tripura, and Uttar Pradesh, while it is the second installment of tied grants of 2021-22 released in favour of Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat, official sources said.

Of the total grant in aid earmarked for Panchayati Raj institutions, 60 per cent is earmarked for national priorities like drinking water supply, rainwater harvesting, and sanitation (referred as tied grants), while 40 per cent 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 states for sanitation and drinking water under the Centrally sponsored schemes.

In order to be eligible for grants during 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, official sources said.

Tied grants are released to rural local bodies on the recommendations of the Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation for making improvements on two critical services, namely sanitation and maintenance of open-defecation free (ODF) status and supply of drinking water, rain water harvesting and water recycling.

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