In the year 2000, the Union government launched the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) to connect India’s smaller villages to nearby towns, all through the country. The ministry of rural development has been in charge of the scheme, with the Planning Commission playing its usual role.
However, the Yojana faced inadequate funding sources and the World Bank stepped in with loans at concessional rates. By the account of the World Bank and the ministry of rural development, the PMGSY has been a roaring success, improving agricultural practices, raising incomes and land prices and increasing literacy and access to health care.
Surveys and studies have tried to quantify the benefits in terms of social rates of return, which is rarely done for government spending in India. On closer examination, though, the claims of success are built on case studies that focus on a few selected rural roads or villages in a few selected districts.