PM Modi pushes electricity for all with Rs 16,000 cr Saubhagya Scheme

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PM Modi pushes electricity for all with Rs 16,000 cr Saubhagya Scheme

NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi is set to launch a group of schemes that would bring free electricity for five years for BPL cardholders. This is part of an ambitious Saubhagya Yojna. The major objective is to provide last-mile connectivity to ensure electricity reaches far-flung areas of the country.

This is being seen as a major push towards fulfilling his electoral promises after demonetization on November 8, 2016, and the rollout of GST from July 1.

Some of the major highlights of the Saubhagya scheme are:

* BPL cardholders to get free electricity
* Those above the poverty line can pay for electricity in EMIs
* Government sets deadline of March 29, 2019 to bring electricity to all households
* 18,000 villages – 3 crore rural households – without electricity currently to benefit from the schemes
* Rs 16,320 crore outlay for the power scheme, a part of which will be borne by state governments
* Special focus on health and education for middle and low-income groups

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Also on the menu are measures to encourage domestic investments and provide more money for rural infrastructure and affordable housing.

Putting more money into the hands of consumers this festive season, easier loans to SMEs and expediting disinvestment are among the steps being considered as part of a stimulus package.

Chief Economic Advisor Arvind Subramanian was tasked with preparing details of the pressure points facing the economy and the probable remedies.

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