The Finance Ministry has released an amount of Rs 8,923.8 crore to 25 States as grants to the Rural Local Bodies for various prevention and mitigation measures needed to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. The grants are meant for all the three tiers of Panchayati Raj Institutions – village, block and district.
It may be utilized by the RLBs, among other things, for various prevention and mitigation measures needed to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, and will augment their resources.
As per the recommendations of the 15th Finance Commission, the 1st installment of grants was to be released to the states in the month of June 2021. However, in view of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic situation and at the recommendation of the Ministry of Panchayati Raj, the Ministry of Finance has decided to release the grant in advance of the normal schedule, the ministry added.
Furthermore, the 15th Finance Commission had imposed certain conditions for release of untied grants. The conditions include online availability of accounts of a certain percentage of Rural Local Bodies in the public domain. But taking into consideration the prevailing circumstances, this condition has been waived for release of the first installment of untied grants.