Prime Minister Narendra Modi is planning to spend an additional $14 billion to provide road connectivity in India’s remote villages by March 2020, as per news records. About Rs 1.4 lakh crore has already been spent under the program. The cost will be shared in the ratio of 60:40 by the federal and state governments, the officials said, asking not to be identified citing rules.
A boost to the rural roads programme ahead of crucial state polls and a national election in 2019 may assist Modi, who has been criticized for pulling down India’s economic growth to a three-year low with his shock cash ban last November and the chaotic introduction of the goods and services tax in July, added the records.
The funds would be spent as part of Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana — a program for “all-weather” rural roads started by former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee in 2000. Started as part of a poverty reduction strategy, it was widely lauded for connecting isolated hamlets and allowing small businesses deliver their produce faster.