Finance Ministry releases ?8,924 crore to 25 states for providing grant to rural local bodies

Finance-Minister-Nirmala-Sitharaman

The Union Finance Ministry, on the recommendation of the Panchayati Raj Ministry, released ?8,923.8 crore to 25 states for providing grant to rural local bodies.

The spread of COVID-19 pandemic in different parts of the country has recently assumed serious proportions. The vulnerabilities of the rural communities need to be especially addressed.

Comparatively low level of awareness amongst the rural population coupled with inadequate support systems in villages may create a constraining situation in dealing with the pandemic in an effective manner. Hence, the Panchayats/Rural Local Bodies need to be properly sensitized and facilitated towards meeting the challenge and provide leadership as they did last year and received appreciation at the highest level for various measures.

“Keeping the above factors in view, the Department of Expenditure, Ministry of Finance, has on the recommendation of the Ministry of Panchayati Raj (MoPR), released an amount of ?8,923.8 crore to 25 states for providing Grant to rural local bodies”, read an official release by the Ministry of Panchayati Raj.

The amount released is the first installment of the Basic (Untied) Grants and may be utilized among other things for various prevention and mitigation measures needed to combat the Covid pandemic. The Ministry has also issued advisory for the guidance of Panchayats as regards the action for combating the COVID-19 pandemic, which inter alia includes the following areas.

Intensive communication campaign for the awareness of rural communities on the nature of the COVID-19 infection, and preventive and mitigative measures, in accordance with the advice of Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW), doctors and medical institutions etc, while especially taking care to dispel false notions and beliefs. The background material and creatives for this awareness campaign may be drawn suitably from the digital repository of health ministry.

To draw the frontline volunteers for the campaign from the local community viz. elected panchayat representatives, teachers, ASHA workers etc.

Providing suitable facilities with necessary protective equipment like finger oxy-meters, N-95 masks, infrared thermal scanning instruments, sanitisers etc.

News Source:- Livemint

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