The Prime Minister, Narendra Modi launched the Pradhan Mantri Saubhagya Yojana, at Deendayal Urja Bhawan, in New Delhi on September 25, 2017. The Union Minister for Petroleum & Natural Gas and Skill Development &  Entrepreneurship,  Dharmendra Pradhan, the Minister of State (I/C) for Power and New and Renewable Energy,  Raj Kumar Singh, the Secretary, Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, K.D. Tripathi and other dignitaries are also seen.
The Prime Minister, Narendra Modi launched the Pradhan Mantri Saubhagya Yojana, at Deendayal Urja Bhawan, in New Delhi on September 25, 2017. The Union Minister for Petroleum & Natural Gas and Skill Development & Entrepreneurship, Dharmendra Pradhan, the Minister of State (I/C) for Power and New and Renewable Energy, Raj Kumar Singh, the Secretary, Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, K.D. Tripathi and other dignitaries are also seen.

New India’s Saubhagya eye power for all to enable better health & environment

With aim to provide power to all homes so that enabling environment is create for better health, connectivity, conservation and development- Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, launched the Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana, or Saubhagya, at New Delhi. On the occasion of the birth anniversary of Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay, the Prime Minister also dedicated a new ONGC building – the Deendayal Urja Bhawan and the Booster Compressor Facility in Bassein Gas Field.

The Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on the occasion of Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay’s birth anniversary unveiled the statue of Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay Ji, at Deendayal Urja Bhawan, in New Delhi on September 25, 2017.

The Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on the occasion of Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay’s birth anniversary unveiled the statue of Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay Ji, at Deendayal Urja Bhawan, in New Delhi.

Highlighting the success of Jan Dhan Yojana, insurance schemes, Mudra Yojana, Ujjwala Yojana, and Udan; Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana, would provide power connections to all the estimated four crore households which currently did not have a power connection and intends to put no burden on the beneficiary although the scheme will require outlay of over Rs. 16000 crore, the Prime Minister said.  In this context he mentioned, Prime Minister recounted how he had set a target of electrifying over 18000 unelectrified villages within 1000 days. He said less than 3000 villages are now left to be electrified. He also explained how coal shortages have become a thing of the past, and capacity addition in power generation has exceeded targets.

The Prime Minister said that New India will require an energy framework that works on the principle of equity, efficiency and sustainability. He said the change in work culture in the Union Government is strengthening the energy sector. This in turn, will positively impact the work culture of the entire country, he added.

The beneficiaries for free electricity connections would be identified using Socio Economic and Caste Census (SECC) 2011 data. However, 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.

The Prime Minister, Narendra Modi unveiling the plaque to mark dedication of Deendayal Urja Bhawan, in New Delhi on September 25, 2017.

The Prime Minister, Narendra Modi unveiling the plaque to mark dedication of Deendayal Urja Bhawan, in New Delhi on September 25, 2017.

For easy & accelerated implementation of the Scheme , modern technology shall be used for household survey by using Mobile App. Beneficiaries shall be identified and their application for electricity connection along with applicant photograph and identity proof shall be registered on spot. The Gram Panchayat/Public institutions in the rural areas may be authorised to collect application forms along with complete documentation, distribute bills and collect revenue in consultation with the Panchayat Raj Institutions and Urban Local Bodies. The Rural Electrification Corporation Limited (REC) will remain the nodal agency for the operationalisation of the scheme throughout the country.

The solar power packs of 200 to 300 Wp with battery bank for un-electrified households located in remote and inaccessible areas, comprises of Five LED lights, One DC fan, One DC power plug. It also includes the Repair and Maintenance (R&M) for 5 years.

The total outlay of the project is Rs. 16, 320 crore while the Gross Budgetary Support (GBS) is Rs. 12,320 crore. The outlay for the rural households is Rs. 14,025 crore while the GBS is Rs. 10,587.50 crore. For the urban households the outlay is Rs. 2,295 crore while GBS is Rs. 1,732.50 crore. The Government of India will provide largely funds for the Scheme to all States/UTs.

The States and Union Territories are required to complete the works of household electrification by the 31st of December 2018.

The expected outcome of the Scheme is as follows:

(a)    Environmental upgradation by substitution of Kerosene for lighting purposes

(b)   Improvement education services

(c)    Better health services

(d)   Enhanced connectivity through radio, television, mobiles, etc.

(e)    Increased economic activities and jobs

(f)    Improved quality of life especially for women

The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, also invited the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation – the ONGC – to take up a challenge, on the occasion of Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay’s birth anniversary to work towards making an efficient electric chulha (stove), which would enable cooking through the use of electricity. The Prime Minister said this innovation would, in one stroke, significantly impact the nation’s dependence on imported fuel. He said that while the world is working towards electric cars, in India, in addition to electric cars, electric stoves would go a long way in meeting the needs of the people. He asked ONGC to invite startups and youth to innovate in this field. 

News Update | 27 September 2017 |FAQs on Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana “Saubhagya”  

Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana –“Saubhagya” a new scheme was launched by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi to ensure electrification of all willing households in the country in rural as well as urban areas on 25th September, 2017.

The following Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) give a detailed view of objectives, features, expected outcomes and implementation strategy of the Scheme.

Q:What is the objective of this new scheme?

A: The objective of the ‘Saubhagya is to provide energy access to all by last mile connectivity and electricity connections to all remaining un-electrified households in rural as well as urban areas to achieve universal household electrification in the country.

Q: What all is included in the last mile connectivity and electricity connection to households?

A: The electricity connection to households 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. In case the electricity pole is not available nearby from household for drawing service cable, the erection of additional pole along with conductor and associated accessories shall also be covered under the scheme.

Q:Will electricity connection would be totally free of cost for every un-electrified households? 

A:Yes!Poor households would be provided electricity connections free of cost. Other households would also be provided electricity connections under the scheme on payment of Rs.500 only, which shall be recovered by the DISCOMs/Power Departments in ten (10) instalments along with electricity bills.

Q:Does the free electricity connection also includes free power for consumption? 

Ans: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.

Q:The earlier programme of Government of India ‘24×7 Power For All’ has similar objective.? How is it different from this programme ?

A: ‘24×7 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 24×7 power for all in consultation with States/UTs. The Power for All documents contain details of various interventions required across the value chain of power sector.

Providing connectivity to all households is a prerequisite to ensure 24×7 power supply. Saubhagya is a schematic support to address the issue of energy access.

Q:In distribution sector, two major schemes; DDUGJY for rural areas and IPDS in urban areas are already under implementation- then what is the need for a new scheme?

A: Deendayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana (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. Besides this, last mile connectivity and free electricity connections are also provided to BPL households only identified by the States as per their list. However, in villages which are electrified in past for a long period, many households do not have electricity connections for many reasons. Some of the really poor households do not have BPL cards but these households are not capable of paying applicable initial connection charges. There is also lack of awareness as to how to get connection or taking connection is not an easy task for illiterate people. There may not be electricity pole nearby and the cost of erection of additional pole, conductor is also chargeable from the households for obtaining a connection.

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, Soubhagya 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.

Q:Is the cost of Saubhagya scheme over & above the outlay available under DDUGJY? 

A:Yes! the cost of Saubhagya scheme i.e. Rs. 16,320 crore is over and above the investment being made under DDUGJY.

Q:What is the criteria for allocation of funds to the States?

A: Projects under the scheme would be sanctioned based on the Detailed Project Reports (DPRs) to be submitted by the States. There is no upfront allocation of fund under the scheme.

Q: How the scheme would be implemented in the entire country? 

A: Project proposals shall be prepared by the State DISCOMs / Power Deptt. and sanctioned by an inter-ministerial Monitoring Committee headed by Secretary (Power), GOI. The electrification works under the sanctioned projects shall be executed by respective DISCOMs/Power Deptt. through turnkey contractors or departmentally or through other suitable agencies capable of doing this work as per norms.

Q:What is strategy for achievement of target in a time bound manner?

A: In order to hasten the process of release of connections to households, camps would be organised in villages / cluster of villages for identification of beneficiaries using modern IT technology with a Mobile App / Web Portal. Application for electricity connections shall also be registered electronically and requisite documentation including photograph of applicant, copy of identity card and / or details such as mobile number/Aadhar number/bank account number etc. shall be completed on spot in the camps, so that connections are released at the earliest.

The Gram Panchayat / public institutions in rural areas shall also be authorized to collect application form, complete documentation and also for distribution of bills, collection of revenue and other activities, as applicable.

Q: What would be estimated rise in power demand with the inclusion of 4 crore households in the electricity network? 

A: Considering an average load of 1 KW per household and average uses of load for 8 hours in a day, there will be requirement of additional power of about 28,000 MW and additional energy of about 80,000 million units per annum. This is a dynamic figure. With the enhancement of income and habit of using electricity, the demand of electricity is bound to vary. This figure will also vary if the assumptions are changed.

Q: What is the provision for households where it is not feasible to extend grid lines? 

A: For households located in remote and inaccessible areas, solar power packs of 200 to 300 Watt and battery back with 5 LED light, 1 DC Fan, 1 DC power plug along with repair and maintenance for 5 years would be provided. 

Q: How many un-electrified households would be covered under Saubhagya?

A: There are about 4 crore un-electrified households estimated in the country of which about 1 crore BPL households in rural areas are already covered under sanctioned projects of DDUGJY. Thus, total of 300 lakh households, 250 lakh households in rural areas and 50 lakh in urban areas, are expected to be covered under the scheme.

Q: Would the Scheme envisage providing amnesty to illegal consumers to come and register? Is that also something the Scheme targets? 

A:The illegal connections need to be dealt with by the respective DISCOMs/Power Deptt in accordance with their rules/regulations in this regard. However, the scheme categorically provides that the defaulters whose connections have been disconnected shall not be given benefit of the scheme.

Q: In what manner, the Scheme would be useful for people in their daily life? 

A: Access to electricity definitely has positive impact on quality of life of people in all aspects of daily household chores and human development. Firstly , Access to electricity would substitute use of Kerosene for lighting purposes resulting in reduction in indoor pollution thereby saving people from health hazards. Further, electricity access would help in establishing efficient and modern health services in all parts of the country. Lighting after the sunset also provide a sense of enhanced personal safety especially for women and increase in post sunset social as well as economic activities. Availability of electricity will boost education services across all areas and quality lighting post sunset would facilitate children to spend more time on studies and move ahead further in prospective careers. Household electrification also increases the likelihood that women would study and earn income.

Q: In what manner, the Scheme would facilitate economic growth and employment generation? 

A: Substitution of use of Kerosene with electricity for lighting purposes would reduce annual subsidy on Kerosene and would also help reduce the import of petroleum products. Electricity in each home would provide improved access to all kind of communications like Radio, Television, Internet, mobile etc. through which everyone would be able to access all kind of important information available through these communication mediums. Farmers can access information about new and improved agriculture techniques, agro-machinery, quality seeds etc. resulting in significant increase in agriculture production and consequently increase in income. Farmers and youths can also explore the possibilities of setting up agro based small industries.

Availability of reliable electricity services would also facilitate establishment of new shops of daily use goods, fabrication workshops, flour mills, cottage industries etc. and such economic activities would generate direct as well indirect employment. Implementation of scheme itself would result into employment generation in view of the requirement of semi-skilled / skilled manpower for execution of works of household electrification. About 1000 lakh man-days works would be generated for implementation of the scheme.

The expenditure of over Rs 16,000 crore will create positive externalities which will further help in generating employment and benefit the economy. 

Q: Is there any plan for creating awareness amongst public at large about the Scheme so that more & more people are benefited from the Scheme ?

A: Government of India would take up publicity campaign through Radio, Print Media, Television, Sign Boards etc. Lack of awareness about procedure to obtain electricity connection including cost of connection, uses of electricity, cost of uses vis-à-vis Kerosene, benefits of using electricity (Direct & Indirect) etc. has been cited as one of the major reasons of slow progress on household electrification in various research studies.

Therefore wide multi-media campaign would be undertaken to make people aware of all aspects the Scheme. The DISCOM officials would also organise camps in rural areas for creating awareness about electricity as well as Saubhagya. School teachers, Gram Panchayat members, local literate/educated youth would also be associated in the awareness campaign.

News Update| 05 October 2017| India gets Lowest Wind Tariff of Rs. 2.64/kWh in 2nd Wind Auction of 1000 MW The wind tariff in India touched lowest level of Rs.2.64 per kWh in the second wind auction conducted by the Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) on behalf of Ministry of New & Renewable Energy, Government of India on 4th October 2017. The tariff discovered is much lower than first wind auction concluded at Rs. 3.46 per kWh in February this year. With improving technology and reducing tariffs Ministry is not only confident of achieving the target of 175 GW by 2022 but exceeding it.

Against the 1000 MW capacity SECI received 12 number of bids totalling to 2892 MW capacity of which 9 bids with a cumulative capacity of 2142 MW were shortlisted for e-reverse auction. The auction started at 3 pm on 4 October and continued for over 13 hours. Five winners selected for total 1000 MW capacity wind power projects include ReNew Power for 250 MW projects quoting Rs.2.64/kWh, Orange Sironj for 200 MW projects quoting Rs.2.64/kWh, Inox Wind for 250 MW projects quoting Rs.2.65/kWh, Green Infra for 250 MW projects quoting Rs.2.65/kWh and Adani Green for 50 MW projects quoting Rs.2.65/kWh. These wind projects are to be commissioned within 18 months from the date of issue of Letter of Award by SECI to successful bidders.

As per provisions of scheme additional 100 MW capacity can be allotted to Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs) willing to undertake development of inter-state transmission system (ISTS) connected wind power projects at the lowest bid tariff of Rs.2.64/kWh, for which they have to submit their proposal within 30 days from the declaration of results of e-reverse auction. The power from these projects will be supplied to obligated entities for fulfilment of their non-solar RPO obligation at pooled price of capacity selected.

For the uninitiated, after success of first wind auction resulted in discovery of record low wind tariff of Rs. 3.46 per kWh in February 2017, the Ministry of New & Renewable Energy sanctioned second wind auction Scheme for setting up of 1000 MW ISTS connected Wind Power Projects on 4 May 2017. SECI issued bids on 30 May 2017 and bids were closed on 14 July 2017. Auction was earlier scheduled for 19 September 2017 and the same was postponed to 4 October 2017 as CERC order on the issue of grid connectivity that is being faced by the successful bidders in the first wind auction was awaited.

News Update| “Electricity is the future of economic growth in India, enhanced Industry participation needed in Energy Sector”, says Singh

Union Minister of State (IC) for Power and New & Renewable Energy, R. K. Singh addressed the 3rd Global Investors’ India Forum, here today. The theme of the event was ‘Ideate, Innovate, Implement and Invest in India’ and it was attended by global industry stalwarts.

Addressing the august gathering, Singh said that looking at the future of growing power consumption in India, it is expected that the per capita energy consumption would expand at a breakneck speed, tripling in the next 5-7 years. The Minister assured the members of Industry that the Government would extend all possible support and remove all impediments in the path of investments in the power sector. “Electricity is the future of economic growth in India. This growth cannot take place without Industry participation. I invite you to come and invest in India’s Energy sector”, Shri Singh said.

Speaking further on his vision for revamping of Power sector in India, the Minister said that his Ministry is in the final stages of codifying laws on a number of fronts including State Governments/DISCOMs honouring of Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) and penalties for delinquencies; all DISCOMs to have tied up PPAs to cover 100% power requirements including peak loads before licenses are renewed; the Renewable Purchase Obligations to be made statutory; making Smart Meters mandatory and penalties to be imposed for non-payment of electricity bills, inter alia.

Singh also informed the gathering that in the near future, to keep pace with this rapid change in the Renewable Energy Sector, Industry needs to partner with the Government in investing in Green Energy Corridors, Battery Storage Technology, Grid Improvement, Electric Vehicles Programme etc. The Minister invited the Industry stalwarts to devise the future strategy to achieve the above goal, in coordination with the Government. “Our time has come to lead the World in Clean Energy, the Industry must not be left behind in this endeavour”, Shri Singh added. The event was organised by the ASSOCHAM and witnessed the participation of Global Industry stalwarts, who engaged in an intense discussion with the Minister; and senior officials of the Ministry.

News Update| 16 November 2017| R.K. Singh launches ‘Saubhagya’ Web-Portal – a Platform for Monitoring Universal Household Electrification

The Minister of State (I/C) for Power and New and Renewable Energy, Raj Kumar Singh launching the ‘SAUBHAGYA PORTAL’, in New Delhi on November 16, 2017.

MoS Power and New and Renewable Energy, Raj Kumar Singh launching ‘SAUBHAGYA PORTAL’, in New Delhi on November 16, 2017.

R.K. Singh, Minister of State (IC) for Power and New & Renewable Energy, launched the Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana – ‘Saubhagya’ Web Portal here on 16 November 2017. Addressing the media during the event, Singh said that the Saubhagya Dashboard is a platform for monitoring household electrification progress, which would disseminate information on Household Electrification Status (State, District, village-wise), Household Progress on live basis, State-wise Target vs Achievement, Monthly Electrification Progress, etc.

The Minister said that achieving electrification of 4 crore households is a big challenge, nevertheless the Government is committed to achieve this target by December 2018, with the cooperation of all the States. This would, in turn, bring about a huge improvement in the Quality of Life of the Citizens of India. The Government is bringing a change in the Power ecosystem in the Country by pushing towards mandatory metering of all new electrical connections through pre-paid or smart meters. This would make paying of electricity bills viable for the poor, reduce power losses and increase compliance in paying electricity bills,  Singh said.

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