Following post is courtsey Gaurav Balhara... thanks Balu!
Main Analysis and Targets
India sets Rs. 80 bn plan for rural infrastructure development.
Roads, railways, electricities, water supplies and telecommunications; what else 70 per cent of one billion plus population is waiting. Will the virtual figure of improving these in rural areas show its face in reality. Time will break the pause.
One of the main relation between project made and project done is the correlation between ‘cause’ and ‘effect’. If the ‘cause’ runs in a positive direction, the ‘effect’ is always positive. In the development sector, which generally is a very long period plan, ‘cause’ will never affect the mass. It is always the ‘effect’ which matters. Promises are made and promises broken. Its nothing new among Indian politicians. Still, lets hope for the better tomorrow in the infrastructure development sector which was served deliciously in the Lok Sabha in the long two hour speech by the Harvard-educated lawyer-turned-politician Mr. P. Chidambaram.
For the development of Rural India, Chidambaram invited private investment in the rural infrastructure plan to implement the project ‘Bharat Nirman’, outlined by President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam last week. The annual funding of this four years plan is Rs. 80 billion. Bharat Nirman is a business plan for building infrastructure in areas of irrigation, roads, housing, water supply, electrification and telecommunication connectivity by 2009. Our FM is confident about ‘Bharat Nirman’ and mentioned it to be “an achievable project”.
• Extension of irrigation facilities to additional 10 million hectares.
• Providing rural roads to inhabitations with a population of 1,000 people in plains.
• Providing the same to inhabitations of 5,000 people on hills.
• Building 6,00,000 additional low-income houses.
• Providing drinking water facilities to 74,000 habitations who are currently lacking this facility.
• Providing power connections to 1,25,000 more villages involving connectivity to 23 million houses.
• Providing telecommunication facilities to 66,822 more villages.
It will be a giant step in development of the rural India if the ‘effect’ comes out with flying colours after four years. As in the telecommunication sector, only 1.1 per cent of the total national density is in rural areas. According to the promises made, it will be increased to more than eight per cent. According to Kalam, Rural India should be seen as a growth engine and public investment is required in the area of rural infrastructure to unleash its growth potential. If all goes well, Bharat Nirman will eradicate poverty, provide excellent and affordable opportunities for education and skill development for all citizens. Health will surely improve and higher income level groups will be generated in India.
An allocation of Rs 9,308 crore has been made for the North Eastern region for the fiscal 2005-06. Out of this Rs 459 crore has been alloted as a special package for highway development in this region. Kumarghat-Agartala and Lumding-Silchar-Hiribam-Imphal projects would be supported with additional funds outside the Railway Budget as projects of national importance. According to FM all ministries and departments are required to allocate at least 10 per cent of their Budget for schemes and programmes in this region.
The burgeoning foreign exchange reserves for will be used for infrastructure development henceforth. All disinvestment receipts will go to the National Investment Fund and used for social sector projects and it will not be taken as capital receipts nor as revenue receipts. Courtesy