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.58503.69 crore as CLA/Grant under AIBP since inception of this programme till 31.03.2017 for major/medium irrigation projects. 5 major/medium projects have been withdrawn from the AIBP due to non-submission of subsequent proposals for seeking Central Assistance (CA) under AIBP. After commencement of this Programme 143 major/medium projects have so far been reported completed. An additional irrigation potential of 85.54 lakh ha has been created up to March, 2016.
Since February 2009, scheme of National Projects has also been implemented for funding high priority projects of international and interstate importance. So far, 16 projects have been identified as National Projects which are at different stages of planning and execution.