Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently announced that the government will provide free electricity connections to four crore rural homes so that the poor can have access to power.
The decision will cost the government Rs 16,320 crore, which will not be passed on to the poor, Modi said. He said the connections will be delivered at the doorsteps of the rural poor and they will not have to go after government officials.
The prime minister was speaking at a function to launch 'Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojna', a scheme for providing electricity to every household, at the renovated ONGC Bhavan, renamed after Bharatiya Janata Party ideologue Deendayal Upadhyaya. The scheme is aimed at providing electricity connections to every household in the country by March 31, 2019. No poor person will have to pay for electricity connections, the prime minister has said.
New India will not only have power in all villages but in every home. We have decided the burden for this will not be borne by the poor. The poor used to have to go around in circles trying to get power; the government will now go to their homes to give them electricity.
After launching the scheme, the prime minister said, "We care about those families who do not have access to electricity. Our motive is to brighten their lives through the Saubhagya Yojana." He said the aspirations of the poor determine the working of the National Democratic Alliance government.
"It's unfortunate that four crore houses in the country have no electricity till date," the prime minister said after launching the scheme. The Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana will be funded largely by the Centre.
With inputs from IANS.