Centre to provide Rs 37,500 crore to states under PMKSY scheme during 2021-26

India’s Union Cabinet approved continuation of the umbrella irrigation scheme — Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana (PMKSY) — through 2026, with a total funding requirement of Rs 93,068 crore. The plan includes Rs 37,454 crore central assistance to states and Rs 20,435 crore of debt servicing for past loans availed under PMKSY. States are also expected to part-fund the scheme.

Under the scheme, 90% grant will be provided to two national projects — Renukaji (Himachal Pradesh) and Lakhwar (Uttarakhand) — critical for water supply to Delhi and also to other participating states (Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Rajasthan) and for rejuvenation of river Yamuna.

Launched in 2015, PMKSY is an umbrella scheme, providing central grants to the state governments for Accelerated Irrigation Benefits Programme (AIBP) and Har Khet Ko Pani (HKKP).

“Total additional irrigation potential creation targeted during 2021-26 under AIBP is 13.88 lakh hectare. Apart from focused completion of 60 ongoing projects including their 30.23 lakh hectare command area development, additional projects can also be taken up. The inclusion criteria have been relaxed for projects under tribal and drought prone areas,” the government said in a statement.

HKKP aims for enhancement of physical access on the farm and expansion of cultivable area under assured irrigation. Under HKKP, surface minor irrigation and repair-renovation-restoration of water bodies component of PMKSY is targeted to provide additional 4.5 lakh hectare irrigation.

In view of importance of rejuvenation of water bodies, the Cabinet has approved a shift in funding in both urban and rural areas, with significant expansion of the inclusion criteria, and enhancement of central assistance from 25% to 60% in general area. Further, ground water component of HKKP, approved provisionally for 2021-22, targets creation of irrigation potential of 1.52 lakh hectare. Watershed Development component would focus on completion of watershed projects covering 49.5 lakh hectare rainfed or degraded lands to bring additional 2.5 lakh hectare under its ambit.

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