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Rs 8,124.40 crore RLB grant released to AP: r Nirmala Sitharaman

VISAKHAPATNAM: The Ministry of Finance releases the Finance Commission recommended grants directly to the State governments and not to the Ministry of Rural Development and Panchayat Raj, said Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.

In a written reply to a query by Vizag MP MVV Satyanarayana in the Lok Sabha on Tuesday, she said the 14th Finance Commission had inter-alia recommended Rural Local Bodies (RLBs) grants for Gram Panchayats in all the States.

For Andhra Pradesh, FC-XIV had recommended a total RLB grant of Rs 8,653.69 crore for the award period 2015-16 to 2019-20. Of this, Rs 8,124.40 crore was released to the State government, she said.

The MP sought information regarding the funds allocated for Andhra Pradesh by the 14th Finance Commission and details of amount allocated for the rural local bodies.

She said the Finance Commission recommended RLBs grant in two parts i.e. basic grant and performance grant. Criteria for release of these grants to the State governments are also prescribed by the FC-XIV. Fulfilment of these conditions is monitored by the nodal ministry i.e. the Ministry of Panchayat Raj for RLBs.

Based on the recommendations received from the nodal ministry and compliance of the stipulated conditions within the award period, basic grants for all the five years from 2015-16 to 2019-20 were released to AP.

Performance grants (PG) for 2016-17 and 2017-18 were also released to the State government for eligible gram panchayats. However, performance grants for 2018-19 and 2019-20 could not be released to the State due to non-fulfilment of the stipulated conditions within the respective award years.

No performance grant was recommended by FC-XIV for any State for 2015-16. The award period of the FC-XIV ended on March 31, 2020. No balance grant is payable to Andhra Pradesh now. From April 1, 2020, funds recommended by the 15th Finance Commission for the local bodies are being released to all States, including AP, she explained.