Union minister G. Kishan Reddy (DC)
HYDERABAD: Stating that the department of expenditure under the ministry of finance had sanctioned Rs 969.50 crore to Andhra Pradesh and Rs 682. 50 crore to Telangana, union minister G. Kishan Reddy on Monday said the ministry of finance released funds based on tied grants to rural local bodies (RLBs) on recommendations of the department of drinking water and sanitation for making improvements on two critical services.
The funds are supposed to be spent for sanitation and maintenance of open-defecation free (ODF) status, supply of drinking water, rain water harvesting and water recycling. Untied grants are released to RLBs on the recommendations of the ministry of panchayat raj after satisfying the conditions stipulated by the 15 Finance Commission.
The local body grants are meant to ensure additional funds to RLBs. The funds allocated by the Centre and the state are for sanitation and drinking water under the Centrally sponsored schemes. In order to be eligible for grants during the years 2021-22 and 2022-23, RLBS have to fulfil certain conditions. These conditions have been stipulated to enhance transparency, regular conduct of elections to the local bodies and preparation of annual development plans by the local bodies, according to the minister.
To receive both tied and untied grants, it is mandatory to prepare and make available online in the public domain, both provisional accounts of the previous year and the audited accounts of the year before previous year by at least 25 per cent. Moreover, the accounts must be uploaded on e-Gram Swaraj and Audit Online portal. The grant is released only to those local bodies which are duly elected.
In addition, to be eligible to receive a tied grant, RLBs shall upload development plans for sanitation and drinking water supply. Annual action plan for drinking water supply shall include details about supply of drinking water, rainwater harvesting and water recycling. Annual action plan for sanitation shall include the status and maintenance of ODF and planning and implementation of SLWM interventions in the local body.
Kishan Reddy requested the states to transfer the grants to the local bodies 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.