I had blogged earlier about why our flagship government programs, both on welfare and infrastructure, fail to meet their targets.
In 2005, the Government of India launched its ambitious Bharat Nirman programme, with a plan to invest about Rs 1.74 lakh crore over the next four years on six sectors in rural areas - roads, drinking water, irrigation, houses, telephones and electricity. Till March 2009, nearly two-thirds of the target, or about Rs 1.14 lakh crore have been spent under this flagship program for improving the basic civic infrastructure in rural India. The balance sheet on Bharat Nirman is captured in the graphic below.
While the performance on drinking water, rural housing and rural telephony has been encouraging, the achievement on rural roads and irrigation has been disappointing. The problems with tendering out works and handing over work sites (site clearance) are the biggest roadblocks to achieving the targets in these two sectors. However, the biggest disappointment was with rural electricification under the Rajiv Gandhi Grameen Vydhythikaran Yojana (RGGVY), where only 27% of the villages were electricfied, leaving nearly 3.5 lakh villages without access to electricity. In the next post I will try to outline the specific reasons for the slow progress in this sector.
Update 1 (11/3/2010)
According to the CAG report, in 2007-08, under 97 grants of civil ministries, there was an unspent provision of Rs. 1,08,000 crore.