Ramesh's ministry has praise for Modi

Ramesh's ministry has praise for Modi

Though Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh never misses an opportunity to pick holes in BJP prime-ministerial candidate Narendra Modi’s claim of good governance, but his ministry itself has now lauded the Gujarat government for developing a speedy and efficient procurement system to build roads to connect villages.

Not only Gujarat, Karnataka has also earned the accolade from the Ministry of Rural Development for developing “effective and efficient procurement practices” for implementation of the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana or PMGSY. The MoRD has written to all States, asking them to follow the models of Gujarat and Karnataka.

The PMGSY is a fully funded centrally sponsored scheme intended to provide all-weather road connectivity in rural areas of the country. The programme envisages connecting all habitations with a population of 500 persons and above in the plain areas and 250 persons and above in the hills, desert and tribal areas as well as in the districts affected by left-wing extremism.

The MoRD, however, noted that the procurement process under the PMGSY in most of the States took up to 120 days, starting from issuance of advertisements seeking bids to award of contract and issuance of work order.

“This not only reflects large-scale inefficiencies in the process, but is also an indication of the need for greater emphasis on effective monitoring and management of the procurement process within the States,” Rajesh Bhushan, Joint Secretary (Rural Connectivity) in the MoRD, noted in his letters to the officials of the state governments responsible for implementing the PMGSY.
Bhushan, however, also pointed out that Gujarat and Karnataka had demonstrated effective and efficient practices, which had led to savings of up to 15-25 days in the entire procurement of the PMGSY tenders.

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