Stating that government’s aim is to provide electricity for all citizens irrespective of BPL or APL criterion, Union Minister Piyush Goyal today said states are free to use any data they want for implementing rural electrification project.
Goyal stressed that there is no need to focus only on BPL (Below Poverty Line) or APL (Above Poverty Line) criterion when it comes to providing power connections in villages.
“During our deliberations here today, our Power Secretary raised the issue of BPL data, which according to him is not updated. Upon learning about this issue, I have taken a decision on the spot that States are free to take into account any data they want to implement rural electrification programme. Do not discriminate between citizens,” the Minister of State for Power told reporters.
Goyal inaugurated conference of power ministers on the sidelines of SWITCH Expo.
Stating that there is no need to discriminate among poor, BPL, APL or any other type, he said, “Our aim is to provide electricity to all. Don’t restrict yourself to BPL or APL. Once electricity reaches to a village, electricity should reach all houses. We had calculated Rs 3000 average cost in BPL families. You take an average cost for the rest as well. And whatever amount will be required, you can use the funds from our schemes.”
He said, “If you need more funds to provide electricity to all rural houses, then Rural Electrification Corporation (REC) will provide long-term finance to states at a lower rate of interest. So that states can achieve 100 per cent household connectivity in villages.”
Goyal expressed hope that this “new approach” will also bring down corruption.