Ministry of Finance has released an amount of over 2,221 crore rupees to Bihar, Karnataka and West Bengal for providing grants to the Rural Local Bodies.
The Ministry in a statement said that around one thousand 112 crore rupees has been released to Bihar, 474 crore rupees to Karnataka and 634 crore rupees to West Bengal. This Grant-in-aid is the second installment of Tied grants to the State of Bihar and Untied grant to the States of Karnataka and West Bengal of the year 2021-22.
The Ministry said that 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 while 40 percent is to be utilized 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.
The States are required to transfer the grants to the local bodies within 10 working days of receipt from the Union Government and any delay beyond 10 working days requires the State Governments to release the grants with interest.
The Ministry further added that so far a total grant of over 31,765 crore rupees have been released to Rural Local bodies of 28 States in 2021-22..