- GS 2: Devolution of powers and finances up to local levels and challenges therein.
- In all, the 15thFinance Commission recommended Rs. 2,36,805 Crore to RLBs/ PRIs for the period 2021-22 to 2025-26.
- Out of the above amount, the 15th FC has recommended Rs 1.42 Lakh Crore Tied Grant To Panchayats (almost 60%)for the five years 2021–22 to 2025–26. 15th finance commission grants to panchayats
- Following the bottom- up approach, it is expected that every Gram Panchayat or its sub-committee, i.e., Village Water & Sanitation Committee (VWSC)/ Pani Samiti will function as a ‘local public utility’.
- This local public utility can plan, approve, implement, manage, operate and maintain in-village water supply and sanitation services on a regular and long-term basis with focus on service delivery, rather than mere infrastructure creation.
- Every village needs to prepare a 5-year Village Action Plan co-terminus with 15thFinance Commission period, comprising of critical components water management.
- These Village Action Plans will be a part of Gram Panchayat Development Plans.
- The of Drinking Water & Sanitation (DDWS), Ministry of Jal Shakti, will act as the nodal Department for determining the eligibility of the rural local bodies for the ‘15thFC tied grant for water & sanitation’.
- It also recommends release of Rs 1.42 lakh crore tied grant to panchayats for water & sanitation, to the of Expenditure, Ministry of Finance for all States.
How the tied grants will help?
- According to the 15th finance commission guidelines for gram panchayat, these funds will ensure that Gram Panchayats function as local ‘public utilities’ with a focus on service delivery.
- This grant is as per the 15 FC plan and has provided a golden opportunity for Gram Panchayats to redefine the local self-governance in line with Gandhiji’s ‘Gram Swaraj’.
- It is a huge step to ensure tap water supply and improved sanitation in the villages.
- Rs 1.42 Lakh crore tied grant to panchayats will be utilised for
- Supply of drinking water, rainwater harvesting and water recycling.
- Sanitation & maintenance of open-defecation free (ODF) status.
- In accordance with the 73rd Amendment to the Constitution, Gram Panchayats are empowered to manage the above two basic services in villages, which are considered as one of the core functions of Panchayats.
- To enable RLBs/ Gram Panchayats to shoulder the responsibility for
- potable water supply
- Greywater management
- Solid waste management
- maintenance of open-defecation free status and improved sanitation in villages.
- Reduce water-borne diseases and improved health
- Reduced dropout from schools, reduction of drudgery, etc.