The Ministry of Power (MoP) is thinking of providing incentives to distribution companies (DISCOMs) and its employees who meet the household electrification target under Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojna (SAUBHAGYA) program at the earliest, reported PTI.
A reward of ₹5 million (~$ 0.073 million) for employees of the state utilities and a grant of ₹500 million (~$7.28 million) for DISCOMs are being considered by the ministry.
To evaluate the performance, the MoP will constitute different groups of states according to geography and the number of unelectrified households in each. The state completing 100 percent household electrification at earliest in each group would be eligible for the reward. Only the top performer in each group will get the reward.
“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 ₹50 lakh for employees of the DISCOMs who would come first and complete the task in their states,” Power Minister R.K. Singh told PTI.
All the hill states – Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Jammu & Kashmir, and north eastern states will be put under a special category. Similarly, states with lower number of household electrification target will be clubbed in another group. Big states like Uttar Pradesh and Bihar will compete in a different group.
Recently, R.K. Singh chaired a meeting in the national capital to discuss and review the numerous initiatives undertaken by the government for increasing electricity access across the country.
In April 2018, with the electrification of Leisang village in the Senapati district of Manipur, the government had announced that India has now achieved total electrification of its 597,464 inhabited villages.
Mercom previously reported, that though complete village electrification sounds like a significant milestone for the country, it does not give a clear picture on universal electricity access. A village is considered electrified as soon as 10 percent of the total number of households in the village have been electrified. It also includes public institutions such as schools, the panchayat office, health centers, dispensaries, and community centers.
SAUBHAGYA data shows that 27,519,176 households are yet to be electrified in the country. States like Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Goa, Gujarat, and Punjab have already achieved 100 percent household electrification. Jharkhand is the least electrified state with only 62 percent of homes with electricity, followed by Uttar Pradesh with 65 percent of households with electricity.
Image credit: OPIC