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Centre releases Rs 12,351Cr to 18 States for providing grants to rural local bodies

By TIOL News Service

NEW DELHI, JAN 27, 2021: THE Ministry of Finance today released an amount of Rs. 12,351.5 crore to 18 States for providing grants to village, block and district-level Rural Local Bodies (RLBs) to help them restart economic activity.

The grant, the second instalment released in the ongoing financial year, was given to the States who have provided the Utilisation Certificate for the first instalment which was released to all States in June, 2020, and also based on the recommendation of the Ministry of Panchayati Raj.

"Total grant of Rs. 45,738 crore has been released to Rural Local bodies so far in 2020-21," the ministry wrote on Twitter.

The grants to RLBs are released as per the recommendations of the 15th Finance Commission to create community assets and improve financial viability of the RLBs. The grants are provided to all the three tiers of Panchayati Raj - village, block and district, to enable pooling of resources across villages and blocks.

Two types of grants are being disbursed to the RLBs – basic and tied. The basic grants can be used by the local bodies for location-specific felt needs except for salary or other establishment expenditure. The tied grants can be used for the basic services of sanitation and maintenance of Open Defecation Free (ODF) status and for the provision of drinking water supply, rainwater harvesting and water recycling.

Earlier, the first instalment of basic grants to RLBs and arrears of the 14th Finance Commission amounting to Rs. 18,199 crore were released to all the States in June, 2020. Subsequently, the first instalment of tied grants amounting to Rs. 15,187.50 crore was also released to enable RLBs to fight the coronavirus pandemic and restart their economic activities.