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Combating CORONA: Much-needed breather to rural bodies in Telangana

Combating CORONA: Much-needed breather to rural bodies in Telangana
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Much-needed breather to rural bodies in Telangana
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The State government has released Rs 300 crore to gram panchayats (GPs) for the month of May to meet public expenditure in rural areas

Hyderabad: The State government has released Rs 300 crore to gram panchayats (GPs) for the month of May to meet public expenditure in rural areas.

GP are given funds on the basis of population – at the rate of Rs 112 per person. Along with SFC (State Finance Commission) funds, those from SC and ST Sub Plans have also been released.

The funds would be utilised for anti-Corona operations. Works of sanitation would get importance. Salaries of sanitation workers need to paid and material for anti-Covid operations would be procured with the funds.

The release of funds throws a lifeline to the GPs gasping for Central Finance Commission (CFC) grants. The 15th CFC funds are yet to be released in this financial year by the Centre.

The SFC funds have been given as the state government promised to provide Rs 330 crore to the Gram Panchayats every month.

The state government has released these funds last year along with CFC funds. It added its own share to the CFC and release them till the end of last financial year.

This year, the Centre granted about Rs 1,800 core to the rural local bodies. They would be distributed among zilla and mandal parishads and gram panchayats. The devolution is yet to begin.

As the coronavirus has been spreading in the state, the government wants to strengthen the GPs financially so that they can fight off the dreaded virus effectively. It had released Rs 300 crore in April.

According to Panchayat Raj officials, the funds are also given in view of the increase in salaries of the sanitation workers.

Most of local bodies are unable to bear salary burden given low revenue sources. The state government made it clear that each sanitation worker be given a monthly wage of not less than Rs 8,500.

As there was no income to the GPs in the month of April due to the lockdown imposed to keep off Coronavirus, the state government decided to give them some relief by providing the funds.

Along with SFC funds, the amounts of SC and ST sub-plans have also been released at the rate of Rs 122 per person.

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