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September 26, 2017

Modi's new scheme 'Saubhagya' - Highlights

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On the occasion of Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyay's birth centenary, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has launched a new scheme titled 'Saubhagya' or the 'Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana'.

The Saubhagya scheme will provide free electricity connection to poor families of India. this scheme aims to improve the environment, public health, education and connectivity with the help of last-mile power connections across India. It will help reduce the use of kerosene lamps in non-electrified households. Here are some major highlights of this scheme.

Important Highlights of Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana (Saubhagya Scheme)

  • The Saubhagya scheme basically means Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana.
  • Aim of this scheme is to provide electricity to all families in India
  • This scheme will provide free electricity connection to poor families of India.
  • Saubhagya does not envisage any subsidy for electricity consumption. That is, consumers will have to pay the bill as per their utilisation.
  • The scheme will ensure "a substitute to kerosene". By substituting kerosene use in rural areas it would save import expenditure.
  • The scheme will inject more than Rs 16000 crore in the economy to create assets, which in turn will add more investment in the economy and create jobs.
  • The total outlay for Saubhagya is Rs 16,320 crore.
  • The outlay for rural households is Rs 14,025 crore, while that for urban households is Rs 2,295 crore. The urban non-poor are excluded from the scheme.
  • Rs 12,320 crore has been earmarked as gross budgetary support for Saubhagya.
  • The Union government will provide a 60 per cent grant toward funding the scheme, while the states will provide a 10 per cent grant. The remaining amount will be covered by loans.
  • States and Union Territories are required to complete household electrification by March 31, 2019.
  • States completing electrification of all households by December 31, 2018, will get an incentive to convert 50 percent of the loan into a grant.
  • The beneficiaries for free electricity connections will be identified using Socio Economic and Caste Census (SECC) 2011 data. Non-SECC candidates will pay Rs. 500 for connection. This is expected to be recovered in 10 instalments.

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