New Delhi: In a bid to make electricity available to all, the government of India plans to launch a scheme under which consumers can pay for the new connection in monthly installments over a period of 5 years and will be able to avail the service on demand.
“We are thinking of launching a campaign to make it compulsory to provide electricity connection to all. We want to provide this facility to everyone that if he or she asks for electricity connection then it must be provided,” power minister Piyush Goyal said at a conference organised to mark the completion of two years of the NDA regime.
The minister further said, “Poor people get electricity connection free of cost. But for those who are above poverty line, the amount paid for new connection will be charged through equated monthly installments in five years. We are working on such scheme and soon launch it.”
On Wednesday, the minister had said, “We want to keep it (application for power connection) simple. Then we would ask our people to get the power connection. We won’t wait for them to apply.”
He had also said, “I am actually telling my officers that they have to go to peoples’ homes, make a simple half-page format, (ask them to) just give Aadhaar number, e-mail, address and mobile number, and sign it, saying I am desirous of a power connection and follow all rules and terms. That is it.”
On the occasion, Goyal also advocated cross-subsidisation of power tariff and said, “Indian farmer deserves to get low cost power. We support cross subsidisation by larger commercial or industrial establishment for other consumers.”
The minister also said the government is working on a policy for reverse auction for wind power projects on the lines of solar power projects, which witness lowering of tariff to below Rs 5 per unit.
At present, wind power projects are awarded on the basis of feed in tariff which is provided by the regulator on the basis of costs of land, equipment and other services.
About the village electrification, the minister expressed confidence that the target of electrifying 18,452 villages will be achieved a year ahead of the set deadline of May 1, 2018.
“We will electrify all 18,452 villages by May 1, 2017, a year ahead of targeted deadline of May 1, 2018,” the minister said.
However, he said that “there may be a few aberrations (consumers) that may be from very dense forest, left wind extremism affected area or possibly a consumer who does not want power or one does not apply for power.”
“I am very confident with the achievement of the two years gone by and with the roadmap being prepared for next three years… (the government will achieve) transformational results,” he added.
While Goyal was talking here about the government’s initiatives to boost electricity supply in the country, there was a power outage for a few minutes at the conference venue.