New Delhi: The government on Monday announced allocation of Rs 9,000 crore for Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, the country's biggest drive to improve sanitation and cleanliness, especially in rural India.
"This (cleanliness) subject was very close to the heart of the Father of the Nation Mahatma Gandhi. The government has allocated Rs 9,000 crore for Swachh Bharat Abhiyan," Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said while presenting the general Budget for 2016-17 in Lok Sahha.
Launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on October 2, 2014 on Gandhi's 145th birth anniversary, the mission is a national campaign, covering 4,041 statutory cities and towns.
For the first time since independence, Jaitley said Parliament held a comprehensive debate on sanitation.
"This has become a topic of discussion in almost every home. We have introduced ranking of urban areas in sanitation which has resulted in constructive competition among towns and cities," he said.