Saubhagya covers free electricity but no provision of free power consumption, clarifies Power Ministry
As per Saubhagya scheme below poverty line (BPL) households will be provided electricity connections free of cost.
A day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched Saubhagya: Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana, Ministry of Power on Wednesday said that the scheme includes only free electricity connection for poor and there is no provision of free power for consumption.
Ministry of Power released list of FAQs related to Saubhagya. Answering one of the question, Ministry said, "There is no provision in the scheme to provide free power to any category of consumers. The cost of electricity consumption shall have to be paid by the respective consumers as per prevailing tariff of the DISCOM/Power Deptt."
As per the scheme below poverty line (BPL) households will be provided electricity connections free of cost. While other households will be provided electricity under the scheme on payment of Rs 500 which shall be recovered by the DISCOMs/Power Departments in ten instalments along with electricity bills.
The scheme which is expected to cover 300 lakh households (250 lakh households in rural areas and 50 lakh in urban areas), will include release of electricity connections by drawing a service cable from the nearest electricity pole to the household premise, installation of energy meter, wiring for a single light point with LED bulb and a mobile charging point.
Saubhagya is not the only electricity related scheme from the government: Deendayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana (DDUGJY), Integrated Power Development Scheme (IPDS), 24x7 Power For All are some of the already existing schemes.
This is how Saubhagya is different from the above three:
According to the Ministry, DDUGJY envisage creation of basic electricity infrastructure in villages / habitations, strengthening & augmentation of existing infrastructure, metering of existing feeders / distribution transformers / consumers to improve quality and reliability of power supply in rural areas.
Similarly in urban areas, Integrated Power Development Scheme (IPDS) provides for creation of necessary infrastructure to provide electricity access but some households are not yet connected mainly on account of their economic condition as they are not capable of paying the initial connection charges.
Therefore, Saubhagya has been launched to plug such gaps and comprehensively address the issues of entry barrier, last mile connectivity and release of electricity connections to all un-electrified households in rural and urban areas, Ministry added.
On the other hand, ‘24x7 Power for All’ is a joint initiative with the states covering all segments of power sector i.e. Power generation, transmission and distribution, energy efficiency, health of Discom etc. to finalise State/UT specific roadmap and action plan to ensure 24x7 power for all in consultation with States/UTs.
Providing connectivity to all households is a prerequisite to ensure 24x7 power supply. Saubhagya is a schematic support to address the issue of energy access.