M Venkaiah Naidu | SKOCH Challenger Award - Honest Independent Civilian Honour

M Venkaiah Naidu: Lifetime Achievement

M Venkaiah Naidu

M Venkaiah Naidu: Lifetime Achievement

Hon'ble Urban Development Minister

Investment in infrastructure has its direct correlation with reduction in poverty. This has been succinctly proven by Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY), which is the only functional scheme that has led to a significant reduction in rural poverty. Breaking the mold, PMGSY was conceived and funded by the Centre and implemented by the states.

Credit goes to M Venkaiah Naidu, who was the Rural Development Minister during 2000, who courageously proposed and incessantly worked to see it through the Cabinet. He single-handedly mustered support from his colleagues and states in the face of still opposition from naysayers who said: roads are a state subject and Centre should stay away. This did not deter Naidu and his determination grew only stronger. The results are there for everyone to see: the poorer states have benefitted from PMGSY proving that a capital-intensive programme like PMGSY had a better shot at reducing rural poverty. The infrastructure creation over last decade has proven that the money is well spent. Connectivity has brought additional benefits: access to markets, education and healthcare facilities. For instance, Bihar’s increased spending on PMGSY in recent years has led to increase in its agricultural production. This may soon lead Bihar to shed its BIMARU tag.

Assets, thus created under PMGSY, are sustainable and closely but independently monitored—something that other schemes need to emulate.

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