The government plans to spend Rs.75,600 crore to supply electricity through separate feeders for agricultural and rural domestic consumption. It aims at ensuring around eight hours of quality power supply to agricultural consumers and 24-hour electricity to households.
According to Piyush Goyal, Union minister for power, coal and new and renewable energy, “This outlay also comprises of expenditure for an integrated power development initiative, which involves strengthening sub-transmission and distribution systems. While Rs.43,000 crore has been earmarked for the Deendayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana for feeder separation, Rs.32,600 crore is the outlay for strengthening sub-transmission and distribution systems, including 100% metering and underground cabling.”
Separating electricity feeders will also ensure that users are billed and technical and commercial losses are reduced. The scheme is based on Jyotigram Yojana, an initiative in Gujarat.
It may be recalled that Union finance minister Arun Jaitley had said in his budget speech that power was a vital input for economic growth and the government was committed to providing 24×7 uninterrupted power supply to all homes.
India’s per capita power sector consumption of around 800 kilowatt hours is among the lowest in the world. Around 600 million Indians do not have access to electricity and about 700 million Indians use biomass as their primary energy resource for cooking, according to the Planning Commission, a World Bank report says