The Department of Expenditure has released an additional ₹807 crore as one-time settlement for the Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Rurban Mission (SPMRM) to pay for all the works that were sanctioned before March 31.
The department has refused to release any additional amount for work initiated after March 31, as the scheme had been phased out as part of a rationalisation of centrally sponsored schemes, officials in the finance ministry said.
“There is no fresh allocation for the scheme. This is a one-time settlement after the Ministry of Rural Development asked for additional funds,” an official told ET.
The rural development ministry had sought Rs 1,200 crore under the scheme, citing increased costs and for projects where work sanction was done, the official added.
The payment has been made only for projects where the groundwork had already been initiated before March 31.
Projects where no groundwork has begun will be merged with other schemes, even if it had been sanctioned.
Initially, the DoE had allowed the rural development ministry to release Rs 288.89 crore till the end of FY22, but the figure was revised subsequently.
The finance ministry has previously said in a reply to Parliament that there will be no extension to the scheme, “in the absence of specific approval of competent authority for extension of the scheme beyond 31.03.2022”. Another official said this was part of the general rationalisation exercise as the government was trying to reduce the number of schemes by merging similar ones. “This is part of the rationalisation done every year and has been done after a detailed study of the programme and after much deliberation,” the official added.
The Centre has halved the number of centrally sponsored schemes to 65, with effect from April 1, 2022.
According to the budget, 130 centrally sponsored scheme spanning all ministries have been “rationalised / revamped” into 65 schemes. This had excluded those schemes declared after April 1, 2020.
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