A sub-group of chief ministers on the Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM) has recommended a cess on some products like petrol and diesel, and issuance of bonds by the Centre and states, to generate the resources for the ambitious programme. It also proposed an increase in the subsidy on non-polluting fertilisers and tax exemption for the private-sector players ready to pitch in.
In its report submitted to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday, the panel headed by Andhra Pradesh chief minister Chandrababu Naidu suggested that the sharing pattern of funds for this programme between the Centre and states may be in the ratio of 75:25, while for hilly states it may be kept at 90:10.
The government has estimated SBM in urban areas to cost a massive Rs 62,009 crore in five years (2014-2019) to end open defecation, building toilets, eradication of manual scavenging and waste management. Of this, the Centre would provide Rs 14,623 crore assistance. The gap in financing could be met by states, the beneficiary contribution, private funding, funds with private companies under Corporate Social Responsibility and the Swachh Bharat Kosh of the Ministry of Finance. Separately, the Centre is also undertaking the SBM in rural areas with an allocation of Rs 3,625 crore in FY16.
The Centre had made a provision to impose a Swachh Bharat cess on all or certain taxable services at a rate of 2% from a date to be notified. The Naidu panel, constituted by Niti Aayog, has recommended that the cess may be levied on petrol, diesel, telecom services and also on accumulated waste produced by plants generating mineral waste.