New Delhi: The Union government has released Rs 1,693.50 crore to Odisha as grants for the rural local bodies (RLBs) in the state.
The Department of Expenditure, Ministry of Finance has released an amount of Rs 12,351.5 crore to 18 states as the 2nd instalment of basic grants released in the financial year 2020-21. The Centre has released the grant to the states that have submitted the utilisation certificates (UCs) for the first instalment and on the recommendation of the Ministry of Panchayati Raj.
“The states are required to transfer the grants to the RLBs within 10 working days of receipt from the Union government. Any delay beyond 10 working days requires the state governments to release the grants with interest,” the ministry said.
The Ministry of Finance also informed that the grants to RLBs are released as per the recommendations of the 15th Finance Commission to create community assets and improve the financial viability of the RLBs. The grants are provided to all the three tiers of Panchayati Raj – village, block and district level bodies – to enable pooling of resources across villages and blocks, the ministry said.
The 15th Finance Commission has recommended two types of grants to the RLBs – basic and tied grants. Basic grants are untied and can be used by the local bodies for location-specific needs except for salary or other establishment expenditure.
The tied grants can be used for basic services of sanitation and maintenance of open defecation free (ODF) status and supply of drinking water, rainwater harvesting and water recycling.