Saubhagya Scheme completes three years: Key Facts

Published: September 25, 2020

On September 25, 2020, the Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijili Har Ghar Yojana completed three years of success. It was launched in 2017 to ensure electrification of all households in both rural and urban areas of the country.

Highlights

The scheme was begun with a budget of Rs 16,320 crores. Out of this, Rs 14,000 was allocated for rural households and the rest for the urban. The households were identified under Socio-Economic Caste Census (SECC) of 2011. Under the scheme the eligible households are currently getting free electricity. The beneficiaries under the scheme are provided with LED lights, DC power plug.

As of June, 2019, over 91% of Indian households have been electrified under the scheme.

Key Features

  • Under the scheme, the DISCOMs including those in the private sector are eligible for financial assistance.
  • The unelectrified houses not covered under SECC are also included in the scheme. However, these households will have to pay Rs 500

Shortfalls in the scheme

The scheme does not address the structural issues of the power sector. It also failed to address the illegal connections taken by the households.

Legislation

Under Electricity Act, 2003, both the central and state governments have joint responsibility to provide electricity to the rural areas. Under the act, the central government in consultation with the state government should provide a national policy on electrification and local distribution in rural areas and stand-alone power systems for rural areas.

The Rural Electricity Policy, 2006 was brought in under the above legislation. Also, in 2005, Rajiv Ganshi Grameed Vidyutikaran Yojana was launched. In 2014, the Deendayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana was launched.

Way Forward

The GoI should integrate renewable power into the national grid widely. Currently, India produces 73.35 GW of renewable energy.

India ranks third in terms of electricity generation globally and fifth in terms of installed renewable energy.

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