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Modi promises to light up all homes by December 2018 with Rs 16000-cr scheme

Saubhagya scheme aims at providing 'last mile electricity connectivity to all rural and urban households'

Shine Jacob  |  New Delhi 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi speaks at the launch of Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana or ‘Saubhagya’, to supply electricity to poor households, in New Delhi (Photo: PTI)

Setting the bar for higher government spending in the infrastructure sector, Prime Minister on Monday unveiled a flagship programme called “Saubhagya — Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana” to provide power to all households in the country by December 2018. The Rs 16,320-crore scheme aims at providing “last-mile connectivity to all rural and urban households”. 

The announcement, made at the headquarters of Oil and Natural Gas Corporation, would reinforce the ruling party’s electricity-for-all target, recently advanced from 2019 to 2018. “Of the 250 million houses that India has, more than 40 million of the houses are electrified. Through Saubhagya, without taking money from the poor, will be provided to these (remaining) families. For this, we expect an expenditure of more than Rs 16,000 crore,” Modi said.

The Union government will provide 60 per cent of the funds, amounting to Rs 12,320 crore. For special category states, the Centre’s contribution will be 85 per cent. 

State governments and their utilities will provide 10 per cent funds (in the case of special category states, the share will be 5 per cent). Loans will account for the remaining component.

The announcement was made on the occasion of the birth centenary celebrations of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh ideologue The building has been named after him. The government had in 2015 set a 1,000-day target to electrify more than 18,000 villages that didn’t have "Of the 18,000 villages, only 3,000 are without now. 

The remaining villages will be connected soon," he said. The Prime Minister said that India was fast becoming electricity-surplus from being electricity-deficit. Highlighting the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana, Modi said that the distribution of LED bulbs had helped families save Rs 13,700 crore on power bills.The Union power ministry has signed deals with all states and Union Territories for the power-for-all programme.

First Published: Tue, September 26 2017. 08:57 IST