Grants allocated by the Department of the Interior (MHA) to states have been hit hard during the COVID-19 pandemic, an RTI response has revealed.
Responses to an RTI query filed by Robin Zaccheus, a social activist, reveal that MHA grants to states fell by 69% to Rs 1,874 crore in the 2020-21 financial year from Rs 6,121 .48 crore rupees in 2019-20.
Grants are funds given for central government assistance, donations or contributions to states, union territories, institutions of the Panchayati raj and certain agencies and bodies.
In FY 2021-22, funds allocated by MHA to states increased slightly to Rs 2,355 crore, but were still down 61% from FY20, the pre-COVID period. .
It’s worth noting that State Department of the Interior grants have seen a steady five-year increase from FY 2015 to FY 20, with funds increasing 48% over the period.
At the same time, funds provided to Union Territories (UTs) by the MHA have increased significantly over the past three fiscal years.
Grants to UTs increased by 566% in FY20 to Rs 15,494 crore from Rs 2,326 crore, while they increased by 122% in FY21 to Rs 34,428 crore This number further increased to Rs 39,323 crore in FY22.
MHA Grants to States/UTs from FY15 to FY22
|EX15||4,133.88 million rupees||Rs 1,648 crores|
|EX16||Rs 3,876.32 crore||Rs 1,784.93 crores|
|EX17||Rs 5,655.02 crore||Rs 2,213.27 crores|
|EX18||Rs 5,732.87 crore||2,190.99 million rupees|
|FY19||Rs 5,768.44 crore||Rs 2,326.34 crores|
|FY20||Rs 6,121.48 crore||15,494.41 million rupees|
|FY21||Rs 1,874.07 crores||Rs 34,428.84 crore|
|EX22||Rs 2,355 crores||Rs 39,323 crores|
|Total||Rs 35,517.08 crore||99,409.78 million rupees|
Over time, grants, excluding debt repayment, have become the Union government’s single largest expenditure item, according to a CAG report.
The effectiveness and use of government grants are monitored through certificates of use. A large number of outstanding user certificates means a lack of control and follow-up in the ministries and departments concerned.
Although the latest data on usage certificates is not available, an analysis by CAG shows that 37,569 usage certificates involving Rs 51,527 crore were in circulation across 26 ministries and departments, as of March 31, 2015.