Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Government announces Swachh Bharat Kosh Operational Guidelines; To come into force with immediate effect

The Government announced Swachh Bharat Kosh Operational Guidelines, 2014 which will come into force with immediate effect.

 Objective of Setting-up the Fund (Kosh):

Individuals and philanthropists have expressed interest in contributing to efforts to achieve the objective of Clean India (Swachh Bharat) by the year 2019. The Swachh Bharat Kosh has been set up to facilitate channelization of philanthropic contributions and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) funds towards this cause.

 Governing Council:

The Swachh Bharat Kosh (henceforth called Kosh) would be administered by a Governing Council chaired by Secretary, Department of Expenditure. Other Permanent members will be Secretary (Planning), Secretary (Drinking Water and Sanitation), Secretary (Urban Development), Secretary (Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation), Secretary (Rural Development), Secretary (Panchayati Raj) and Secretary (School Education and Literacy). Departmental Secretaries from Tourism, Culture or any other department would be invited as and when their proposals are being deliberated.

 Secretariat:

The Governing Council would be assisted by a division to be set up in the Department of Expenditure, which will serve as its secretariat, headed by an Administrator, at the Joint Secretary level.

 Bank Account & Receipt of Contribution:

·        Contributions from companies and philanthropists shall be received in a single bank
·        account opened in the State Bank of India, Central Secretariat Branch, North Block, New Delhi.
·        The bank account will be operated jointly by the Administrator and the Chief Controller of Accounts, Ministry of Finance.
·        Donations into the Kosh may be made through online payments through net banking, or by debit and credit cards or Cheque/Demand Draft.
·        The donor would receive an automated, digitally signed receipt of the contributions. Besides, the following mode of acknowledgement with regard to receipt of donations will be adopted:

Contributors
Contribution (amount in Rs.)
Level of acknowledgement
Companies
1
2
3

4.
20 crore & above
10 crore – 20 crore
1crore to  10 crore

upto 1 crore
PM
FM
Secretary, Expenditure
Administrator, SBK

Individuals
1
2
3

4
1 crore and above.
50 lakh to 1 crore
10 lakh to 50 lakh

upto 10 lakh
PM
FM
Secretary, Expenditure
Administrator, SBK



·        While efforts would be made to optimally apply the funds in the Kosh to its objectives, any temporarily idle balance may be invested in fixed deposits with the State Bank of India, with the approval of the Governing Council. Any interest thus earned would be ploughed back into the Kosh, and used for furthering its objectives.

Admissible Activities:

The Kosh will be used to achieve the objective of improving cleanliness levels in rural and urban areas, including in schools. It may also be enabled to bring out innovative / unique projects and girl toilets will be the priority area to start with. The following broad activities will be financed from the Kosh:

·        Construction of community/individual toilets in rural areas, urban areas, in elementary, secondary and senior secondary government schools, aanganwaadis (Centres that provide support to children below 6 years and their mothers under the Integrated Child Development Scheme, Ministry of Women and Child Development);
·        Renovation and repair of dysfunctional community/individual toilets in elementary, secondary and senior secondary government schools and aanganwadis;

·        Construction activity for water supply to the constructed toilets;
·        Training and skill development to facilitate maintenance of constructed toilets and to ensure its inter-linkages with education on hygiene;
·        Other initiatives of improving sanitation and cleanliness in rural and urban areas including solid and liquid waste management;
·        Any other activity to improve sanitation in the country as decided by the Governing Council.

Proposing of Projects

The line Ministries will propose projects to the Governing Council pertaining to the above activities. The states can also apply for the funds of the Kosh through the respective line Ministries. The allocation from the Kosh will be used to supplement departmental resources for the above-mentioned activities. However, specific suggestions regarding creation of assets, coming from donors making contributions of more than Rs. 10 crores, may be considered by the line Ministries, if otherwise not in conflict with these guidelines.

Approval and Release of funds:

The Governing Council will meet at least once every quarter, or sooner, if required, to assess the feasibility of funding the projects/activities proposed by the line Ministries. The Governing Council will prioritize the projects proposed by the line ministries, on the basis of criteria to be laid down by itself.

Implementation:

·        The implementation of the projects/activities would be carried out by the existing institutions already in place at the State, District, and Sub District level to execute the projects/activities. No new institutions will be created.
·        The costing of projects will be guided by the prevalent cost norms of Centrally Sponsored Schemes (CSS) of similar nature. These will be used in deciding the cost estimates of the projects to be financed from the Kosh.

Monitoring:

·        The line Ministries administratively concerned with the projects will closely monitor the utilization of the funds received from the Kosh and would provide a quarterly progress report to the Governing Council and the Finance Minister.
·        The progress of activities undertaken from the Kosh will be reviewed by the Finance Minister on a quarterly basis and by the Prime Minister from time to time.
·        The Ministries would ensure that the projects/activities undertaken from the Kosh are not duplicated.

Accounting and Audit:

To ensure financial accountability, internal audit shall be carried out by the Chief Controller of Accounts, Ministry of Finance, once every quarter. In addition, statutory audit shall be carried out annually by an independent auditor from a board of auditors appointed by the CAG. The reports and observations will be brought to the notice of the Central Government.
The CCA (Finance) will maintain accounts, including Receipts and Payments Accounts.

Information and web portal:

Information relating to all activities of the fund along with relevant FAQs will be uploaded on the website of the Finance Ministry. The administrative ministry will answer RTI or other queries related to implementation and utilization of funds made available to them for activities under this fund.

Amendment of Guidelines:

After assessing the experience of administering the Kosh, the Governing Council may recommend amendment of the guidelines, as and when required, to better achieve its stated objectives, for the approval of the Finance Minister.

The aforesaid guidelines are also available on the website of the Ministry of Finance i.e. www.finmin.nic.in .

Courtesy: pib.nic.in

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