The central government through its flagship programme Jal Jeevan Mission is going to put in around Rs 30,000 crore in the rural economy in the post-COVID-19 situation. The money will be provided to states in FY21 (2020-21) under the (Jal Jeevan Mission) scheme.
This comes after the Centre upped spends on the Mahatama Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) by Rs 40,000 crore to limit the impact of the coronavirus-induced lockdown. The Centre through Jal Jeevan Mission scheme seeks to ensure a functional tap water connection to each of the around 14.8 crore rural households.
Whilst the government will provide Rs 6,429.92 crore as opening balance to states, an additional Rs 22,695.50 crore has been allotted for FY21, according to a report in the Economic Times. This will guarantee "an assured availability" of Rs 29,125.42 crore of central funds to states and Union Territories (UTs) in FY21.
The Centre has already released the first leg of first installment of this year's allotment to states/UTs in need of funds, government sources told the news daily.
Of the funds allocated for FY21, Rs 11,500 crore has been provided in the budget and Rs 12,000 crore has been deemed as extra-budgetary resources.
The Jal Jeevan Mission was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on August 15, 2019, and is set to strengthen the rural economy with a host of new employment opportunities follow along the programme.
The scheme ensures Rs 55 litres of clean water per person through a piped water network. This includes laying of pipelines across villages, in addition to several water conservation activities such as rainwater harvesting systems and construction of ponds.
Such a huge outlay with several activities will involve long-term engagement of skilled workforce for jobs such as plumbing, electrical fittings, and masonry, operation and maintenance of piped water networks across each village.
Amid the ongoing COVID-19 situation in the country, the Jal Shakti Ministry has instructed all states to make sure that works related to water supply and water begin with immediate effect in villages to give work to the skilled/semi-skilled migrant labourers, the news report added.