Ahead of Union Budget 2018, the Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has announced that the government will provide free power connections to four crore homes in rural areas. Finance Minister has also promised that the government will spend around Rs 16,000 crore to provide free electricity in the rural areas. The government has allocated the huge sum of money under Pradhan Mantri Saubhagya Yojna. The scheme is proposed to develop the rural areas of the countries as it will help in the economic growth of India.
Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojna- Saubhagya is an initiative to provide energy access to all by last mile connectivity and electricity connections to all remaining un-electrified households in rural as well as urban areas to achieve universal household electrification in the country. Coming to the key features, the scheme will provide access to electricity to all willing households. It will provide a substitute to the kerosene and will help in the development of the rural areas. The total outlay of the project is Rs. 16, 320 crores while the Gross Budgetary Support (GBS) is Rs. 12,320 crore. The outlay for the rural households is Rs. 14,025 crore while the GBS is Rs. 10,587.50 crore.
According to the government’s official website of Saubhagya yojna, “The electricity connection to households include the release of electricity connections by drawing a service cable from the nearest pole to the household premise, installation of energy meter, wiring for a single light point with LED bulb and a mobile charging point. In case the electricity pole is not available nearby from the household for drawing service cable, the erection of additional pole along with conductor and associated accessories shall also be covered under the scheme.”