Vadodara: In order to help states expedite electrification of all households, the central government on Friday promised extra long-term loans on easy terms from state-owned Rural Electrification Corp. (REC) and urged states not to distinguish between those above and below the poverty line while giving power connections.
Poor households do not have to make an upfront payment to meet the cost of laying wires to their homes, but others have to. This payment requirement often fosters corruption and delays providing electricity connections, according to Union power minister Piyush Goyal, who inaugurated a two-day meeting of state power and mining ministers in Vadodara.
“States have been urged to provide connections to every household and the cost can be recovered in 10-15 years. REC can help in financing the capital spending required for this,” the minister told reporters at a briefing later in the day.
The idea is to support families that are above the poverty line but are still financially weak.
Achieving the goal of power for all by March 2019 involves not just electrifying a village, but establishing the last mile connectivity of taking power to every household. A few states like Andhra Pradesh are close to declaring themselves as having achieved full electrification of all households.
Under the Deen Dayal Upadhyay Gram Jyoti Yojana, the government had in 2015 identified 18,452 villages to be electrified, out of which more than 10,000 villages have been electrified so far.