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Swachh Bharat cess of Rs. 4000 cr has not reached dedicated fund yet

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(G.N.S) Dt. 28
During the last two years, the government collected more than Rs 16,400 crore as Swachh Bharat cess, meant to fund sanitation schemes, but the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has pointed out nearly a quarter of the collection has stayed outside the dedicated fund. While collections through the 0.5% cess on all services were meant to be transferred to a non-lapsable Rashtriya Swachhta Kosh, over Rs 4,000 crore remained outside the RSK schemes. CAG said Rs 12,400 crore, around 75% of total collections, was transferred to the RSK and used for identified schemes in the last two years. “The rules stipulated that the resources of RSK were to be distributed in the ratio of 80:20 between Swachh Bharat Mission (Gramin) and Swachh Bharat Mission (Urban).
However, the ministry of drinking water and sanitation expended the entire amount on Swachh Bharat Mission (Gramin) without leaving any provision for Swachh Bharat Mission (Urban),” the auditor pointed out on the portion of funds utilised. The national auditor has said that the experience was similar with other cesses. The CAG has found that in case of six major cesses, where total collections were to the tune of Rs 4 lakh crore till 2016-17, over Rs 1.81 lakh crore, or nearly 45% of the funds collected, remained unutilised and were not transferred from the government’s Consolidated Fund of India to the dedicated funds or the intended schemes.

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