Kolkata, Aug 18 (IANS) The West Bengal government on Thursday demanded that the name of the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (Prime Minister’s Rural Roads Scheme) be changed, as the state was funding 40 per cent of the project cost.
State Panchayat Minister Subrata Mukehrjee said the state government was thinking of rechristening the project as Rajya Sadak Yojana (State Roads Scheme) in West Bengal.
“After the BJP government came to power at the Centre, it has changed the names of a number of schemes. We have objection to the way they are changing the names to suit them,” said Mukherjee.
The Minister said that at the same time, the pattern of funding of some of the old schemes has been changed, putting more burden on the states.
“For instance, the rural roads scheme is called Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana. Earlier, it used to be funded entirely by the Centre. But now, the states have to fund 40 per cent of the cost. Since it is now an almost 50:50 joint project of the Centre and the states, why should it be called PMGSY?”
“Let them do whatever they want… In our state we will rechristen it Rajya Sadak Yojana.”
The PMGSY, a nationwide plan to provide all-weather road connectivity to unconnected villages, was introduced in 2000 by then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
It was initially a fully centrally-funded scheme under the Ministry of Rural Development. But the present central government has announced that it would now be funded by both the Centre and states in 60:40 ratio, after the 14th Finance Commission recommended a greater devolution of the tax pool for the states.