Power Ministry mulls Rs 50 crore reward for discoms under Saubhagya

The power ministry is mulling a reward of Rs 50 lakh for state utilities employees and a grant of Rs 50 crore for discoms which will meet household electrification target under Saubhagya scheme at the earliest.

Under the Rs 16,320 crore Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana – ‘Saubhagya’ scheme launched last year in September, the government aims to electrify all 3.6 crore un-electrified households by December-end.

The ministry will form different group of states based on the parameters like geography and number of households to be electrified. Among each group, the state completing the task of 100 per cent household electrification at earliest will be rewarded. In each group, only the top performer will be rewarded.

The move is aimed at incentivising state discoms to compete against each other to give a push to achieve the objective of 100 per cent household electrification under ‘Saubhagya’ Scheme.

“We are working on incentives for the state discoms to motivate and incentivise them to meet target under Saubhagya. We would give a shield and Rs 50 lakh for employees of the discoms who would come first and complete the task in their states.

“We would also give Rs 50 crore grant to the winner discoms for adopting a scheme or programme for improvement of their operations,” Power Minister R K Singh told PTI.

Asked about how it would be fair for big state like Uttar Pradesh with tall order of electrifying 1.49 crore households to compete with smaller states with lower number of un-electrified households, he replied,”We would have different groups of state to bring fair completion among them”.

There will be a group of special category states or hill states. This group will include all Northeast and hill states like Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Jammu & Kashmir. There will be another group of state with lower number of household electrification target. The major states like Uttar Pradesh and Bihar will be competing in another group.

“We have got one good suggestion from Uttar Pradesh Energy Minister Shrikant Sharma recently that there should be a Vidyut Rath to make public announcement regarding completion of household electrification in different areas. This would give another chance to the left out families to seek electricity connection and help us to achieve our goal,” he said.

According to the Saubhagya portal, 81,41,950 families have been provided electricity connection so far under the scheme, while the work is on to energise 2,78,46,217 households across the country.

The largest number of 1.49 crore unelectrified households are in Uttar Pradesh out of which 19.99 lakh have been provided electricity connection so far. At the second place, there are 33.44 lakh unelectrified households in Bihar, out of which 15.55 lakh have already been electrified.

Source: PTI