Government of India has issued the Guidelines for release and utilization of grants recommended by the 15th Finance Commission for Rural Local Bodies and Panchayati Raj Institutions for water and sanitation during the period 2021-22 to 2025-26. The Finance Commission has recommended over one lakh 42 thousand crore rupees tied grant to Panchayats for water & sanitation for this period. Ministry of Jal Shakti in a statement said that the grant will have a huge impact on ensuring these services in villages and thus on public health and quality of life in rural areas. It said, the tied grants will ensure more funds to Gram Panchayats to make their water supply and sanitation-related plans implemented and Gram Panchayats can function as local ‘public utilities’ with a focus on ‘service delivery. This is a big step towards strengthening the local self-government in line with the 73rd Amendment to the Constitution of India.
The Ministry said, Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation will act as the nodal Department for determining the eligibility of the rural local bodies for the ‘15th Finance Commission tied grant. Department has recommended for release of 1st installment of tied grant to 25 States for water and sanitation activities and onward transfer to Rural Local Bodies and Panchayati Raj Institutions. Jal Shakti Ministry said that with 50 thousand Crore rupees budgetary support by the Government of India, 30 thousand Crore State’s share for Jal Jeevan Mission and this year allocation of 28 thousand crore rupees under tied grant, more than one lakh crore fund is available for making provision of piped water supply in villages. This will gave a huge impact on the rural economy.
Since August 2019, Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM) is under implementation in partnership with States to make provision of tap water supply to every rural home, ensuring ‘no one is left out’ with an outlay of 3 lakh 60 thousand rupees.
During the last seven years, huge efforts and investments have been made to enable the villages to become Open Defecation Free (ODF). With a view to sustain these efforts, Swachchh Bharat Mission (SBM) Phase-II is under implementation with an objective to achieve ODF plus status of villages in the country. The focus is on Solid and Liquid Waste Management, plastic free villages and ensuring ODF status of villages.