The central government has released Rs 1154.90 crore to four states including Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Gujarat and Sikkim, for providing grants to Urban Local Bodies.
The highest amount of Rs 769 crore has been released to Bihar. Andhra Pradesh has received Rs 225.60 crore, Gujarat has received Rs 165.30 crore while Sikkim has received Rs 5 crore.
“The grants released are meant for Non-Million Plus cities (NMPCs) including Cantonment Boards,” the Ministry of Finance said in a statement.
The 15th Finance Commission in its report for the period from 2021-22 to 2025-26 has divided the Urban Local Bodies into two categories: (a) Million-Plus urban agglomerations/cities (excluding Delhi and Srinagar), and (b) all other cities and towns with less than one million population (Non-Million Plus cities).
The 15th Finance Commission has recommended separate grants for them. Out of the total grants recommended by the Commission for Non-Million Plus cities, 40 per cent is basic (untied) grant and the remaining 60 per cent is tied grant.
Basic grants (untied) are utilised for location specific felt needs, except for payment of salary and incurring other establishment expenditure.
On the other hand, tied grants for the Non-Million Plus cities are released for supporting and strengthening the delivery of basic services. Out of the total tied grant, 50 per cent is earmarked for ‘Sanitation Solid Waste Management and attainment of star ratings as developed by the Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs (MOH&UA). The remaining 50 per cent is tied to ‘Drinking water, rainwater harvesting and water recycling’.
The tied grants are meant to ensure availability of additional funds to urban local bodies over and above the funds allocated by the Centre and the State for sanitation and drinking water under various Centrally Sponsored Schemes and provide quality services to citizens.
Photo courtesy: thesamikhsya