The Cabinet today approved a Rs 38,500-crore allocation over five years for some projects under the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana. The overall scheme is expected to see a Rs 10,000-crore cut in the coming Budget proposals.
The scheme had an annual allocation of Rs 24,000 crore till this year. There would be about Rs 7,000 crore annually for the schemes approved today. The Cabinet is also to consider next week a new version of the PMGSY, which might take the total annual spending to Rs 14,000 crore.
The schemes approved today were mainly for connectivity to villages in tribal areas, desert and hilly areas, with a population of at least 250 each. In areas hit by Naxalite violence, villages with less than 250 people are also to be connected under the scheme. About Rs 8,000 crore is to provided on connectivity for these villages, with population between 100 and 250 people.
The funds approved today would also provide for roads to villages in blocks along the international border in Arunachal Pradesh.
PMGSY was launched in 2000, with the aim of all-weather connectivity to all hitherto unconnected habitations with a population of at least 500 persons (at least 250 persons in hilly states and desert areas and in tribal schedule-V areas.
The government today approved enhancing the authorised capital of the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development to Rs 20,000 crore, from Rs 5,000 crore and expanding its scope of operations.
The Cabinet also approved the setting up of a special purpose vehicle for the $9-billion Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India gas pipeline, as multinational firms have been unwilling to build the project. The Dubai-based SPV will scout for a consortium leader to build and operate the project.