The Accelerated Irrigation Benefits Programme(AIBP) was launched during 1996-97 to give loan assistance to the states to help them complete some of the incomplete major/medium irrigation projects which were in an advanced stage of completion and create additional irrigation potential in the country. The Surface Minor Irrigation Schemes of North-Eastern States, Hilly States of Sikkim, Uttaranchal, Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and undivided Koraput, Bolangir and Kalahandi Districts of Orissa have also been provided Central Loan Assistance(CLA) under this programme since 1999-2000. Grant component has been introduced in the programme from April, 2004 like other Central sector schemes. As per the existing AIBP criteria effective from December, 2006, grant amounting to 25% of the project cost for major and medium irrigation projects in non-special category States and 90% grant of the project cost for major/medium/minor irrigation projects in special category States (including undivided Koraput, Bolangir and Kalahandi districts of Orissa) are provided to the selected projects. The minor irrigation schemes in non-special category States falling in drought prone/tribal areas are treated at par with special category States and are released 90% grant of the project cost. Major and medium projects providing irrigation benefit to drought prone/Tribal area and flood prone area are also eligible for 90% grant of the project cost. The State Governments have been provided an amount of Rs.43425.6331 crore as CLA/Grant under AIBP since inception of this programme till 1.12.2010 for 283 major/medium irrigation projects and 11655 Surface minor irrigation schemes. After commencement of this Programme 129 major/medium projects and 7969 Surface MI Schemes have so far been reported completed. An additional irrigation potential of 59.39 lakh ha has been created up to March 2009.
As per the prevailing AIBP guidelines, projects benefiting drought prone/tribal area, projects included in the Prime Minister’s relief package for agrarian distress districts of Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Kerala and projects in the States having irrigation development below national average could be included in AIBP in relaxation to one to one criteria of inclusion of new project under AIBP. Of the 65 major/medium projects initially included in the Prime Minister’s relief package for agrarian distressed districts of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala and Maharashtra, so far 40 projects have been funded under AIBP. The grant released so far for these projects is Rs.5155.1307 crore.
For the year 2010-11, budget provision made for AIBP is of Rs.9200 crore which also includes Rs.2200 crore for National Projects.
Allocation proposed for XI Plan for AIBP and National Projects is of Rs.50710 crore (Rs.43710 crore for AIBP and Rs.7000 crore for National Projects). Allocation actually made available by the Planning Commission is of Rs.39850 crore.
Since February 2009, scheme of National Projects has also been implemented for funding high priority projects of international and interstate importance. So far, 14 projects have been identified as National Projects which are at different stages of planning and execution. Active central assistance at the rate of 90% of the eligible balance cost of irrigation and drinking water component of these projects is being provided.