New Delhi: A move is afoot to include 32 districts in the economically backward regions to make them eligible for Central funds, the Rajya Sabha was informed on Thursday.
Panchayati Raj Minister V Kishore Chandra Deo said during Question Hour that proposals for inclusion of these districts in the backward region had been received.
They include 19 new districts that had been carved out in different states, he said.
Deo said it is the Planning Commission which decides on inclusion of additional districts under the Backward Regions Grant Fund (BRGF) programme.
"Proposals are being considered by the Planning Commission," he said adding the basic criteria for including of districts in BRGF was economic status, health status, education status and infrastructure inadequacies.
He said over Rs 18,280 crore had been released to 250 districts in the past six years. The highest amount of Rs 2,645.60 crore was released for 36 districts in Bihar, followed by Rs 2,359.21 crore for 34 districts in Uttar Pradesh.
Madhya Pradesh`s 24 backward districts got Rs 2,019.09 crore while 13 districts of Andhra Pradesh got Rs 1,651.88 crore. Odisha`s 19 districts got Rs 1,446.28 crore and Rs 1,225.73 crore was given to 12 districts of Rajasthan.
He said funds are released only after utilisation certificate is given by the state government. "There is no proposal at this stage to remove existing districts from BRGF after they become stable," he added.