The Government of India, Ministry of Finance has issued Rs.2,200 Crores as the first instalment to 15 States for undertaking the improvement of Air Quality measures in their Million-Plus urban agglomerations/cities.
The office of Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has tweeted, “The government, based on the recommendations of the 15th Finance Commission, has released Rs 2,200 crore as the first instalment to 15 states for the improvement of air quality measures in their million-plus cities.”
It further added that the grant would help the beneficiary states to undertake air quality measures, including capacity-building of the local bodies within their million-plus cities/agglomerations.
Finance Ministry has said in a statement that the State Finance Department should transfer grants-in-aid directly to all these local bodies, which include cities like Lucknow, Visakhapatnam, Kolkata etc., within ten working days of receipt from the Union Government without any deduction.
“Any delay beyond ten working days will require the State Governments to release the same with interest as per the effective rate of interest on market borrowings/State Development Loans (SDLs) for the previous year,” it further added.
Also, the ministry said that the local bodies in the list should entrust one urban local body as a nodal entity to receive the grants. This nodal entity shall also have the responsibility of achieving the performance indicators for the entire urban agglomeration.
The 15 states include Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Gujarat, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan.
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