Prime Minister Narendra Modi will launch ‘power for all’ scheme on September 25 to mark the birth anniversary of RSS ideologue Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya. The scheme will aim at providing 24X7 electricity to all and the development was confirmed by power minister RK Singh yesterday. “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.
Even though Singh didn’t reveal too many things about the scheme, he didn’t mention that it is touted to cover all rural families after expected electrification of all villages by December end this year. He added that the Narendra Modi led government has asked the states to prepare electrification projects which would be discussed and approved for release of funds under the scheme.
News agency PTI reported while citing government sources that the scheme will be named ‘Saubhagya’ and provide subsidy on equipment like transformers, meters and wires. The scheme was listed on the agenda of Cabinet meeting held earlier this week.
While addressing the media earlier, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, talking about the scheme had said, “Once we take a decision, we will tell you about that.” The governmnet has been continuously working hard to electrify all villages in the country and wants to achieve 24X7 power for all by 2019.
While talking about the power sector, RK Singh had said the government is trying to bring 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 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. Singh also hinted that most of the consumers in the country will shift to prepaid electricity connections which would resolve the issue under-recoveries of discoms.