MPPSC Study Material
Drishti IAS
call87501 87501 / 011-47532596
Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana - Saubhagya scheme
Sep 27, 2017

[GS Paper-II (Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation)]

On 25th September, Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the Rs16,320-crore Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana, or Saubhagya, to provide electricity connections to over 4 crore families in rural and urban areas by December 2018. State-run Rural Electrification Corporation is the nodal agency for the scheme.

Key features

  • The scheme funds the cost of last-mile connectivity to willing households to help achieve the goal of lighting every household by 31 December 2018.
  • The beneficiaries for free electricity connections would be identified using Socio Economic and Caste Census (SECC) 2011 data. 
  • Un-electrified households not covered under the SECC data would also be provided electricity connections under the scheme on payment of Rs. 500 which shall be recovered by DISCOMs in 10 instalments through electricity bill. Free connections will be provided to below poverty line (BPL) households.
  • For households outside the reach of national electricity grid, solar power packs along with battery banks shall be provided.
  • The solar power packs of 200 to 300 Wp (Watt peak capacity) with battery bank, comprises of Five LED lights, One DC fan, One DC power plug.
  • The scheme also includes the Repair and Maintenance (R&M) for 5 years.
  • States have also been provided with an incentive of 50% of their loan being converted to grants, if the electrification targets are met by 31 December 2018.

Why was it launched?

  • Despite the government’s aggressive village electrification programme, the Deen Dayal Upadhyay Gram Jyoti Yojana launched in July 2015, under which 78% of 18,000 villages have been electrified, it was realised that the problem of electricity ‘access’ wasn’t resolved.
  • A village is declared to be electrified if 10% of the households are given electricity along with public places such as schools, panchayat office, health centres, dispensaries and community centres. 
  • With a large number of household still remaining unelectrified, the Saubhagya scheme aims at ensuring the coverage of households as opposed to only villages.

Significance 

  • It was seen that the electricity distribution companies (discoms) don’t want to supply to the villages even if the electrification has taken place. By providing electricity access to all households with prepaid and smart meters, demand will be created which in turn will force the discoms to supply to these villages.
  • The scheme will help India, the world’s third-largest energy consumer after the US and China, to help meet its global climate change commitments as electricity will substitute kerosene for lighting purposes. 
  • Lighting in turn will also help in improving education, health, connectivity with the multiplier effect of increased economic activities and job creation.

Power Sector in India: An Analysis

  • The Ministry of Power which started functioning independently in 1992 is primarily responsible for the development of electrical energy in the country.
  • India ranks third globally in terms of electricity production.
  • As per the 12th Five Year Plan, India is targeting a total of 88.5 GW of power capacity addition by 2017, of which, 72.3 GW constitutes thermal power, 10.8 GW hydro and 5.3 GW nuclear. 
  • Largest source of renewable energy in India is wind energy, accounting for an estimated 56%of total installed capacity (57.42GW) of renewable energy (April 2017). 
  • India has decided to double wind power generation capacity to 20GW by 2022 and has raised the solar power generation capacity addition target by five times to 100GW by 2022.

Recent Initiatives taken by the government

  • Deendayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana (DDUGJY): The rural electrification scheme provides for (a) separation of agriculture and non-agriculture feeders; (b) strengthening and augmentation of sub-transmission and distribution infrastructure in rural areas including metering at distribution transformers, feeders and consumers end.
  • Integrated Power Development Scheme (IPDS): The scheme provides for (a) strengthening of sub-transmission and distribution networks in urban areas; (b) metering of distribution transformers/feeders/consumers in urban areas; and (c) IT enablement of distribution sector and strengthening of distribution network.
  • Ujwal Discom Assurance Yojana (UDAY): The scheme has been launched for operational and financial turnaround of Discoms.
  • ‘4 Es’ in the revised Tariff Policy: The 4Es include Electricity for all, Efficiency to ensure affordable tariffs, Environment for a sustainable future, Ease of doing business to attract investments and ensure financial viability.
  • GARV (Grameen Vidyutikaran) App: To monitor transparency in implementation of the electrification schemes, GVAs or the Grameen Vidyut Abhiyantas have been appointed by the government to report progress through GARV app. 


Helpline Number : 87501 87501
To Subscribe Newsletter and Get Updates.