The Centre has released ₹2,570 crore in the 14th Finance Commission grants that had been withheld from the States for not conducting elections to the local bodies, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has said.
Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu are the biggest beneficiaries from the decision taken to ensure that basic civic services are not affected during the COVID-19 outbreak. “Due to #COVID2019, the local bodies have to especially focus on providing basic civic services and ensure cleanliness,” said a tweet by Ms. Sitharaman.
Almost ₹1,630 crore has been released for urban local bodies, with Tamil Nadu receiving the lion’s share of ₹988 crore, followed by Andhra Pradesh with ₹431 crore, both as the first instalment for 2019-20. Odisha, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland and Meghalaya also received funds for the earlier years. For rural local bodies, Andhra Pradesh received ₹870 crore in the second instalment for 2018-19. Arunachal got more than ₹70 crore in the second instalment for 2017-18.
“The amounts have already been credited to the accounts of the respective State governments,” Ms. Sitharaman said.