Government has issued fresh flexi-fund guidelines that will give more freedom to states in spending money under the Centrally Sponsored Schemes (CSS) to meet local developmental requirements.
Under the new norms, flexi-funds in each CSS has been increased from the current 10 per cent to 25 per cent for states and 30 per cent for Union Territories.
The flexi-fund component, the Finance Ministry said, will provide “flexibility” to states to meet local needs and requirements and pilot innovation to improve efficiency.
States can use the fund to undertake mitigation or restoration activities in case of natural calamities, or to satisfy local requirements in areas affected by internal security disturbances.
“States may, if they so desire, set aside 25 per cent of any CSS as flexi-fund to be spent on any sub-scheme or component or innovation that is in line with the overall aim and objective of the approved Scheme,” the guidelines said.
However, state governments will have to constitute a state-level sanctioning committee (SLSC) to avail of the flexi-fund facility.
“It may be noted that the name, acronym and the logo are the core feature of any CSS, which must be retained for the flexi-fund component as well. If the states change any of these core features, the central contribution will cease and the flexi-fund component will become a purely state scheme,” the Ministry said.
The flexi-fund facility is not for CSS which emanate from a legislation, like MNREGA.
Based on the recommendations of the sub-group of chief ministers and consultations with stakeholders, Niti Aayog had issued instructions for rationalisation of CSS.