The Union Finance Ministry has asked State-run banks to speed up installation of automated teller machines (ATMs) in rural areas, which is falling short of the budget target. Against the target to install 34,668 by the end of March 2014, the public sector banks have put up only 5,726 ATMs by end of August.
The Union government has stated that investment in road construction in rural areas saw a ten-fold jump under the United Progressive Alliance's (UPA's) regime. The government rolled out more than 20,100 all-weather roads across the nation last year, a report by the government said projecting a rosy picture of the sector, which is battling with scores of problems like equity crunch, delays in clearances and land acquisition besides major players abandoning projects mid-way.
With an objective to boost road connectivity to rural areas in the country the Union government on February 7 cleared road projects worth about Rs 38,500 crore under the rural road connectivity scheme, the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) which was launched in 2000.
The country is presently in need of an energy security policy, conveying use of portfolios, basket of fuels; followed by guidelines on how regulators must ensure that at each state level, tariffs are built using bulk sourcing of power, based on prudent mix of portfolio of fuel - comprising of both imported and domestic. In addition, a long-term view needs to be taken to ensure energy security through the development of appropriate alternatives to conventional fuels.