Release of grant advanced in view of COVID-19 pandemic

New Delhi: The Department of Expenditure, Ministry of Finance, on Saturday, has released an amount of Rs. 63.4 crore for providing grants to the Rural Local Bodies of Himachal Pradesh.

The grants are meant for all the three tiers of Panchayati Raj Institutions – village, block and district.

The Ministry of Finance has released Rs. 8,923.8 crore to 25 States. The state of Uttar Pradesh has received Rs. 1441.6 crore, Maharashtra Rs. 861.4 crore and West Bengal Rs. 652.2 crore.

Neighbouring states of Himachal Punjab allocated Rs. 205.2 crore, Haryana Rs. 187 crore and Uttarakhand Rs. 85 crore.  

State-wise details of 1st instalment of Rural Local Bodies untied grants released for the year 2021-22

S. No.Name of StateAmount (Rs. in crore)
1Andhra Pradesh387.8
2Arunachal Pradesh34
8Himachal Pradesh63.4
12Madhya Pradesh588.8
20Tamil Nadu533.2
23Uttar Pradesh1441.6
25West Bengal652.2

The amount released on Saturday is the first instalment 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.

As per the recommendations of the 15th Finance Commission, the 1st instalment 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 15th Finance Commission had imposed certain conditions for the 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.

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Rahul Bhandari is Editor of TheNewsHimachal and has been part of the digital world for last 15 years.