After Digital India & Jan Dhan, govt to focus on rural infra

Written by Press Trust of India | New Delhi | Updated: Aug 31 2014, 18:26pm hrs
After launching schemes to boost financial inclusion and reduce digital divide, the government is all set to begin work on developing rural infrastructure in the country in a bid to spur growth and perk up investments.

The government is making a "realistic assessment" of how many rural infrastructure projects like roads, bridges, housing, etc, can be accomplished in the current financial year under the existing allocation, sources said.

"Accordingly all the departments have been asked to prepare a plan of the rural infrastructure projects under their mandate and their status and completion schedule," they added.

Government's aim is to connect all the 600 districts and about six lakh villages through roads and bridges and Internet connectivity that would help in growth and development and improve investment flows in farm sector, rural infrastructure and housing in villages, they said.

"Concentrating on rural infrastructure will further help in increasing capital formation in agriculture, which is the key to developing the rural economy," they added.

The government has allocated over Rs 14,000 crore for the construction of rural roads and bridges in this fiscal.

Besides, the National Rural Livelihood Mission (NRLM) has been allocated Rs 4,000 crore and the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme has an allocation of Rs 34,000 crore.

Also the central Plan outlay for 2014-15 of Department of Rural Development is Rs 80,043 crore, which includes special programmes for employment, Housing, roads & bridges and social security & welfare.

"The idea is for these rural infrastructure schemes to run parallel to the Pradhan Mantri Jan-Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) and the Digital India Programme to get the best possible results," sources said.