Major & medium irrigation projects are capital-intensive in nature. The State Governments with limited resources find themselves unable to meet desired fund demands of all the projects. Therefore, the project completion gets delayed and a large number of projects in the country have spilled over from one plan to another. Further, funds spent on these projects are locked up and the country is not able to derive the desired benefits. This was a matter of grave concern for the Union Government. Against this background, the Accelerated Irrigation Benefits Programme (AIBP) was launched by Government of India during 1996-97 to provide financial assistance to State Governments for accelerating the pace of irrigation development in the country.