Govt releases Rs 807 crore settlement for Rural Mission work

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Govt releases Rs 807 crore settlement for Rural Mission work

The Department of Expenditure has released an additional 807 crore as a one-time settlement for the Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Rurban Mission SPMRM to pay for all works that were sanctioned before March 31. The finance ministry said the department has refused to release any additional amount for work initiated after March 31, because the scheme had been phased out as part of a rationalisation of centrally sponsored schemes. There isn't a fresh allocation for the scheme. The Ministry of Rural Development asked for additional funds, a government official told ET. The rural development ministry had sought Rs 1,200 crore under the scheme, citing increased costs and projects where work sanction was done, the official said. The payment was only made for projects where the groundwork had already been started before March 31. Even if it had been sanctioned, projects where no groundwork has begun will be merged with other schemes. The rural development ministry was supposed to release Rs 288.89 crore at the end of FY 22, but the figure was revised subsequently. In a response to Parliament, the finance ministry said that there would be no extension to the scheme in the absence of a specific approval of competent authority for extension of the scheme beyond 31.03. One official said this was part of the general rationalisation exercise because the government was trying to reduce the number of schemes by merging similar ones. The rationalisation done every year is part of the rationalisation done after a detailed study of the programme and after much deliberation, the official said. The number of centrally sponsored schemes has been halved, with effect from April 1, 2022, the Centre said. 130 centrally sponsored schemes spanning all ministries have been rationalised and have been restructured into 65 schemes, according to the budget. These schemes were not included after April 1, 2020.