The Government has brought forward the target date by three years from 2022 to 2019 to achieve complete rural connectivity through all-weather roads under Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana, PMGSY. Union Minister for Rural Development Shri Birender Singh said that this accelerated implementation will be achieved by providing enhanced financial allocation and through a modified funding pattern in the Scheme. He said, the government has also decided to increase the annual allocation during year 2015-16 by Rs. 5,000 crore and with this the total Central allocation to States would be Rs. 15,100 crore, while it was Rs 9,960 crore during 2014-15. It may be noted that the Central release to the States for PMGSY works was Rs.5, 196 crore in 2013-14 and Rs. 4,313 crore in 2012-13.
PMGSY was launched in year 2000 as a Centrally Sponsored Scheme with the objective to provide single all-weather road connectivity to all eligible unconnected rural habitations. Under PMGSY-I, 1,78,184 unconnected habitations were identified. However, in 15 years of implementation so far, 1,12,550 habitations (63%) have been connected with PMGSY roads. The States are yet to complete the roads to provide connectivity to about 37% of habitations as per the mandate of the Scheme.
Shri Singh said that higher allocation of funds will ensure that Scheme targets are achieved by March, 2019 much before the stipulated time of 2022. He said, this decision of the government will give a big boost for public investment in the rural sector particularly rural infrastructure.
Shri Birender Singh said that his Ministry is also considering to financially incentivise the States who achieve the targets allocated to them, within the prescribed time frame. This incentive could be used for periodic maintenance expenditure by the States. He said, the Ministry of Rural Development is working in collaboration with the States for preparing a time bound action plan to cover the outstanding liabilities for sanctioned works so as to meet the liabilities of all sanctioned works within 2016-17. The Minister said, the enhanced level of Central allocation to States for 2015-16 as well as the proposed allocation of the same amount for 2016-17 would help in providing connectivity to 29,000 eligible habitations in these two years which would be much higher than 13,424 habitations connected during 2012-13 and 2013-14.
The Minister also informed that consequent to higher devolution of funds to the States as per the recommendations of 14th Finance Commission, the Sub-Group of Chief Ministers on Rationalization of Centrally Sponsored Schemes was constituted and it has submitted its Report wherein it has recommended that fund sharing pattern of PMGSY will be in the ratio of 60:40 between the Centre and States for all States except for 8 North Eastern and 3 Himalayan States for which it will be 90:10. He said, the Sub-Group has also recommended that this modified sharing pattern should be effective from Financial Year 2015-16 onwards. The above recommendation of the Sub-Group on modified sharing pattern has been accepted and all ongoing as well as outstanding works would be covered under this sharing pattern.