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PM Modi to launch 24x7 electricity-for-all scheme on Monday: Power minister

According to government sources, the scheme will be named 'Saubhagya'

Modi To Announce Power For All Scheme

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Solar Power

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will announce a scheme for providing 24X7 electricity to all on September 25, Power Minister R K Singh said on Friday.

September 25 is also the birth anniversary of RSS ideologue Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya.

"Another challenge is coming on September 25...when the Prime Minister will announce a big scheme for providing power for all 24X7," Singh said at The India Power Conclave organised by Network18.

Though Singh did not divulge further details about the scheme, it is touted to cover all rural families after expected electrification of all villages by December end this year.

He added that the Centre has asked states to prepare electrification projects, which would be discussed and approved for release of funds under the scheme.

According to government sources, the scheme will be named 'Saubhagya' and provide subsidy on equipment like transformers, meters, and wires.

The scheme was listed on the agenda of the Cabinet meeting held earlier this week.

About the scheme, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had told reporters after the Cabinet meeting, "Once we take a decision, we will tell you about that."

The government has been working hard to electrify all villages in the country and wants to achieve 24X7 power for all by 2019.

On power sector reforms, Singh talked about bringing legislative changes for introducing stricter rules for enforcing power purchase agreements.

The minister also said he has given a target of bidding out 20,000 Mw of wind and 20,000 Mw of solar energy projects by the year's end.

Noting the issues related to clean energy making conventional power projects unviable, he said, "I have to balance... (so) that thermal power remains viable."

There were fears that due to sliding solar and wind tariffs, coal-based projects will become unviable and turn into non-performing assets or bad loans.

He also indicated that most of the consumers in the country will shift to prepaid electricity connections, which would resolve the issue of under-recoveries faced by discoms.

He also said that his ministry is examining the issue of dumping of solar and other clean energy equipment in the country.

He said if the ministry finds the solar developers' concerns genuine, then the case for imposing anti-dumping duty would be pushed.

Singh was in favour of promoting power purchase agreements under which firms will arrange for power to meet 100 per cent requirement of the states.

He also hinted that the government will add more capacity through state-run power giant NTPC in view of the expected rise in power demand.

"India is growth story. The demand for power will increase," he added.

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First Published: Sat, September 23 2017. 14:56 IST