On Monday evening, Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the Rs 16,320 crore Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana scheme (Saubhagya) to deliver electricity connections to more than 4 crore families in rural and urban areas by December 2018. This scheme will be executed just before the next general elections, which will help in improving the conditions of public health, environment, and education.
While announcing the scheme, PM Modi said, “New India will not only have power in all villages but in every home. We have decided the burden for this will not be borne by the poor. The poor used to have to go around in circles trying to get power… the government will now go to their homes to give them electricity.” The PM added that four crore houses are still living without electricity connections, which means 25 crore homes in India. “25 percent people are without power, living in the 18th century,” said PM Modi. While describing the meaning of Saubhagya scheme, which means good fortune, PM Modi said that this scheme will change the fortunes of such families.
“It is extremely sad that electricity has not reached 4 crore households in our country. At those households, people are still lighting candles and lantern. In these crores of households, children find it very difficult to study. Even if they study, it is under the lantern’s light,” Modi said. The beneficiaries of the Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana scheme (Saubhagya) would be established by using the socio-economic caste census (SECC) 2011. The government said in a statement that “However, un-electrified households not covered under the SECC data would also be provided electricity connections under the scheme on payment of Rs 500 which shall be recovered by DISCOMs (distribution companies) in 10 installments through electricity bill”.
Important things you should know about this scheme:
What is Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana (Saubhagya) scheme is all about?
This scheme will provide the cost of funds for last mile electricity connectivity to all the rural and urban households by 31 December 2018.
What are the benefits of this scheme?
It was learned that many electricity distribution companies (discoms) are not interested in supplying to the villages even if the electrification has taken place. The demand will only be created when electricity access would be provided to each and every household with prepaid and smart meters and as a result, it will put pressure on the discoms to supply to these villages.
World’s third largest energy consumer after the US and China, India, could get the chance to meet its global climate change commitments as electricity will substitute for lighting purposes.
The mobile applications will be used to make sure on the spot registration. Free connections will be provided to below poverty line (BPL) households, but those who haven’t registered under this category can also enjoy the scheme by paying Rs 500 in 10 installments of Rs 50 each included with their monthly bill.
As per the government, this scheme will take more than 16,000 crores in the economy to produce assets, which in benefit will give more investment in the economy and create jobs.