West Bengal is the 13th largest and 4th most populous state of India. It recorded an average fiscal deficit of 4.3% of gross state domestic product (GSDP) from 2007 to 2012—double the state average of 2.1% in India during the same period. The fiscal stress was driven by the state’s low own-tax revenue (OTR) effort and high nondiscretionary expenditure on salaries, interest, and pensions.
In December 2000, the government of India launched the Prime Minister’s Rural Roads Program (PMGSY) as a centrally sponsored scheme to provide all-weather access to unconnected eligible rural habitations. By improving the connectivity of these habitations, the PMGSY aims to accelerate agricultural and rural economic growth and thereby reduce poverty faster and in a more inclusive manner.