COVID-19: The Ministry of Finance has released INR 8,923.8 crore to 25 states for providing grants to their gram panchayats to help them fight the second wave of COVID-19. The grants, which have been given out in advance of the scheduled date, are for use by all the three tiers of Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs)—village, block, and district.
According to the recommendations of the 15th Finance Commission, the first instalment of ‘untied grants’ was to have been released in June 2021. However, in light of the severity of the second wave of COVID-19, and on the advice of the Ministry of Panchayati Raj, these funds have been released ahead of schedule.
According to the data released by the finance ministry, Uttar Pradesh’s panchayats received the maximum amount totalling INR 1,441.6 crore, followed by Maharashtra with INR 881.4 crore, Bihar with INR 741.8 crore, and West Bengal at INR 652.2 crore.
Read this article on the unique challenges that confront rural India during the second wave of COVID-19 and ways to respond to it.