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Power ministers of States and Union Territories will focus on the Saubhagya scheme to provide electricity to 4 crore families by 2018, when they meet for a two-day conference starting here tomorrow. As per the agenda of the meeting, the Centre is expected to ask states to submit their plans and funding requirements for the scheme. The biennial conference would be chaired by Minister of State for Power R K Singh. Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the Saubhagya scheme (Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana) in September to achieve 100 per cent electrification of households by December 2018.
It will provide electricity connections to over 4 crore families in rural and urban areas. The other areas to be covered at the meeting include promoting pre-paid meters, separation of power feeders, digital payment of bills and providing 24x7 power for all. The aim of the conference is to review implementation of various schemes and programmes and deliberate on a host of issues pertaining to the sector. The issues on reforms in the power and renewable energy sector are also listed for discussion at the meet. Other points on the agenda are how to mandate charges for cross subsidy and inter-state transmission, honouring of power purchase agreements and management of ash at thermal power plants. The ministers will also deliberate on the issues related to hydro power, wind energy, districts affected by left-wing extremists, rooftop solar systems and biomass programme. The conference of 'Ministers for Power and New & Renewable Energy of States & Union Territories' was earlier scheduled for November 10-11 Rajgir, Bihar.