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New Delhi: Union Minister for Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation Uma Bharti on Friday announced the release of first installment of Rs 1,500 crore to the states as central assistance for 99 prioritized irrigation projects under Accelerated Irrigation Benefits Program (AIBP). This amount has been released for 50 projects in the states of Gujarat, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Manipur, Odisha, Punjab, Rajasthan and Telangana

Addressing a press conference in New Delhi, the minister said today is historic day for AIBP as it will mark a new beginning for these projects. She said total funds required for completion of all the 99 identified projects have been estimated at Rs77,595 crore (Rs.48,546 crore for project works and Rs 29,049 crore for CAD works).Likely potential utilization through these projects is estimated to be 76.03 lakh hectare. Bharti said accordingly a proposal was made for providing Central Assistance and State share for above mentioned 99 projects through NABARD. The minister said these projects will cover almost all drought prone districts of 18 States of country and will also go a long way to contain the incident of suicide by farmers.

The Finance Minister, in his budget speech of 2016, had announced for creation of dedicated Long Term Irrigation Fund (LTIF) in NABARD with an initial corpus of about Rs 20,000 crore and an amount of Rs 12,517 crore was provided as budgetary resources and market borrowings during 2016-17.

The Union Cabinet on July 27, 2016 ,had approved establishment of the Mission to ensure completion of 99 prioritized projects in phases by December 2019 including Command Area Development and Water Management (CAD&WM). The arrangement of funds for Central share/Assistance (CA) has been made by taking loan from NABARD as per year-wise requirements which could be paid back in 15 years’ time keeping a grace period of three years.

The central government launched the AIBP in 1996-97 to provide Central Assistance to major/medium irrigation projects in the country, with the objective to accelerate implementation of such projects which were beyond resource capability of the States or were in advanced stage of completion. Priority was given to those projects which were started in Pre-Fifth and Fifth Plan period and also to those which were benefiting Tribal and Drought Prone Areas.

During 2015-16, Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana (PMKSY) was launched with an aim to enhance physical access of water on farm and expand cultivable area under assured irrigation, improve on farm water use efficiency, introduce sustainable water conservation practices etc.






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