New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi today announced a scheme “Saubhagya – Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojna” that aims to provide electricity to all household across the country by March 31, 2019. Under this scheme, the Centre aims to bring electricity to all villages by December 2018.
Billed as a pro-poor scheme, it also aims to promote the use of kerosene substitutes in houses and improve healthcare services and education. Improving communication, public safety and quality of life, especially for women, as well as increasing job opportunities, are part of the Saubhagya scheme’s goals.
The Centre said the total purview of the scheme is Rs 16,320 crore, and the government’s budgetary assistance is Rs 12,320 crore. Easily rechargeable smart meters will be installed at every village, officials said.
The scheme will be funded by a 60% grant from the government, states will contribute 10%, and the rest is expected to be covered by loans. For special category states, the government will grant 85% of the outlay, while the states will contribute only 5%.
The announcement was made at an event celebrating the birth centenary of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh ideologue Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya.
Minister of State for Power RK Singh said the government’s target was to provide electricity to all households from Jammu and Kashmir to Kanyakumari by December 2018. “There should be no power outages due to shortage in supply,” he said.
On August 10, then Power Minister Piyush Goyal had told the Lok Sabha that the Centre aims to ensure that all households in the country have electricity before August 15, 2022, and all villages before May 2018.