Mumbai: The Department of Expenditure has released an amount of Rs 8,923.8 crore in advance to 25 states for providing grants to the Rural Local Bodies (RLBs) in view of the COVID-19 pandemic, the ministry of finance informed on 9th May.
The grants are meant for all the three tiers of Panchayati Raj Institutions — village, block, and district, The amount released is the first installment of the ‘Untied Grants’ for the year 2021-22. It may be utilised by the RLBs, among other things, for various prevention and mitigation measures needed to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. Thus, it will augment resources to the three tiers of Panchayats for fighting the contagion. The state-wise amount of the grant released is enclosed.
Of the Rs 8,923.8 crore, Uttar Pradesh has been alloted Rs 1441.6 crore, followed by Maharashtra with Rs 861.4 crore, Bihar with Rs 741.8 crore, West Bengal with Rs 652.2 crore, Madhya Pradesh with Rs 588.8 crore, Rajasthan with Rs 570.8 crore, Tamil Nadu with Rs 533.2 crore, Karnataka with Rs 475.4 crore, Gujarat with Rs 472.4 crore, Andhra Pradesh with Rs 387.8 crore, Odisha with Rs 333.8 crore, Telangana with Rs 273 crore, Jharkhand with Rs 249.8 crore, Assam with Rs 237.2 crore and Punjab with Rs 205.2 crore.
As per the recommendations of the 15th Finance Commission, the 1stinstalment of untied grants was to be released to the States in the month of June, 2021. However, in view of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic situation and at the recommendation of the Ministry of Panchayati Raj, the Ministry of Finance has decided to release the grant in advance of the normal schedule.
Moreover, the 15thFinance Commission had imposed certain conditions for release of untied grants. The conditions include online availability of accounts of a certain percentage of Rural Local Bodies in the public domain. But taking into consideration the prevailing circumstances, this condition has been waived for release of the first instalment of untied grants.