Cabinet clears way for greater participation in Swachh Bharat campaign

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New Delhi, Mar 4: Seeking to encourage public participation in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's ambitious 'Swachh Bharat Mission', government today cleared certain enabling provisions for a fund to facilitate channelling of money from individuals and companies for the programme.

"The Cabinet has approved enabling provisions for Swachh Bharat Kosh to enable people living in India and abroad and companies give funds for the clean Indian mission," a senior minister said after the Cabinet meeting where the decision was taken.

Swachh Bharat

He said the contributions will get tax exemption. Besides individuals keen to fund the various programmes under the mission, government also expect funds from organisations under the corporate social responsibility.

"Most of the fund will be channelised to construct toilets," the minister said. Modi had on August 15 given a call to achieve the objective of clean India (Swachh Bharat) by the year 2019, the 150th year of the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, through the Swachh Bharat Mission.

While the fund was launched in November last, the Cabinet approved certain enabling provisions to make it operational. The fund 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 or unique projects and girl toilets will be the priority area to start with, guidelines issued earlier said.

Using the donations, the fund will finance activities such as construction of new toilets as well as repair and renovation of dysfunctional toilets in rural areas, urban areas, elementary, secondary and senior secondary government schools, aanganwaadis.

They would also be used for constructing water lines to the toilets, training and skill development to maintain hygiene in the toilets as well as other activities to improve sanitation, it said.

PTI

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