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PM Modi launches ‘Saubhagya – Electricity for All’ scheme worth over 16,000 crore

Aiming to provide electricity to each and every household in the country, the government has launched the Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana or ‘Saubhagya’ scheme. The scheme will ensure last mile electricity connectivity to all willing households in the country. The government has set the target to fully implement the scheme by March 31, 2019. The Saubhagya scheme will cost the government Rs 16,320 crore. Out of this, Rs 14025 crore will be for rural households whereas Rs 2,295 crore will be for urban households. The central government will contribute 60 percent of the costs whereas respective state governments will contribute 10 percent. The remaining 30 percent will be provided by loans. For special category states, the central government will contribute 85 percent of the outlay. Special category states will have to contribute only 5 percent of the outlay. With such an advantageous scheme, it is likely that states will come forward to implement the scheme at the earliest.

The gross budgetary support for the scheme will be Rs 12,320 crore. Under the scheme, free electricity will be provided to poor households. The beneficiaries will be identified based on 2011 census. Above Poverty Line (APL) families will be getting electricity connections for just Rs 500 and that too can be paid in 10 equal monthly installments. In case of Below Poverty Line (BPL) families, they will be given free electricity connections under the scheme. The government will be taking help from gram panchayats and public institutions in rural areas to collect applications, distribute bills and collect revenue.

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