The aim of the current government, under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, is to provide free electricity to over four crore families in rural and urban areas by December 2018.
Setting the ball rolling for this, Narendra Modi on 25th September 2017, launched a scheme called – Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana ‘Saubhagya’ This Rs 16,320-crore scheme has been launched for the upliftment for the underprivileged.
“Rs 16,000 crore will be spent to bring a monumental change in the lives of the poor,” Modi said while launching the ‘Saubhagya’ scheme in New Delhi. The government is aiming to provide electricity to all households, a year ahead of its earlier target of March 2019, as reported in The Indian Express.
Here are some of the salient features of this scheme:
1. The scheme aims to provide 24X7 electricity to all willing households.
2. The Centre will be providing funds to states and union territories to undertake electrification of all areas.
3. Families eligible for free electricity connection will be identified using Socio-Economic and Caste Census (SECC) 2011 data.
4. Those households that are not covered by the SECC data and are un-electrified would also be provided electricity connections under the scheme on payment of Rs 500, which will be recovered by DISCOMs in 10 instalments through electricity bill.
5. Camps will be set-up in villages for the identification and spot registration of beneficiaries.
6. The Rural Electrification Corporation Limited (REC) will remain the nodal agency for the operationalisation of the scheme.
7. Under this scheme, a subsidy on equipment like transformers, meters and wires shall also be provided.
8. A few of the additional benefits likely to arise from the implementation of this scheme are the substitution of kerosene as a fuel, improvement in educational services and health services, and increased job opportunities.
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