In a big boon to the poor families of the country, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday announced ‘Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojna’ or ‘Saubhagya Yojana’ which aims at providing free electricity connections to the needful households. This scheme is introduced to minimise the widespread usage of kerosene in rural India by providing a negligibly harmful substitute in electricity. In order to cater the all-round development of the poor families, this scheme will further aim at enhancing educational facilities and create more job opportunities.

While speaking at the launch of the scheme, PM Modi said, “No money will be charged from any poor person for electricity connection. The government will give the connection at your doorstep.” Along with the electricity connections, 5 LED bulbs, 1 ceiling fan and 1 battery will be given as well while the maintenance of the electric equipment will be provided free of cost for 5 years. The Saubhagya Yojana will cover around 4 crore households across India with the main emphasis on rural areas from the states of Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Odisha, Jharkhand and northeastern India.

The needful households and individuals will be identified through the data of Socio Economic and Caste Census of 2011. The eligible ones will be given electricity connections free of cost while the ones not listed in the census will be charged Rs 500 per connection. The charges of Rs 500 will be collected in 10 different installments. The Saubhagya scheme will cost around Rs 16,320 crore out of which 60% will be Central government’s contribution, 10% will come from state governments while remaining 30% will be taken as loan from banks. The government has set a deadline of March 31, 2019 to successfully implement this scheme throughout the country.