Executive Intelligence Review
Subscribe to EIR

PRESS RELEASE


There Will Be No Home in India Without Electricity by 2019, Modi Promises Indians

Oct. 2, 2017 (EIRNS)—In order to fulfill the promise he made earlier to the Indian electorate during the 2014 general elections, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced a $2.5 billion scheme to bring electricity to all homes in the country by the end of December 2018, reported the Indian media. In a speech addressing the nation last week, Modi said: "Forty million of the total 250 million households still don’t have power, which means 25% of people are living in the 18th Century. The government will electrify every household, whether it’s in a village, city or a remote region," the Straits Times reported on Sept. 27.

Nearly 304 million Indians do not have access to electricity, accounting for about a quarter of the global population living without power, according to Niti Aayog, a government think-tank that Modi set up to replace India’s former Planning Commission. Several concentrations are in rural areas, where state power retailers are reluctant to supply electricity, because returns fall below the investment made in infrastructure.

On the ground, India is generating enough surplus electricity to light up every home. However, the last-mile connectivity, the cost of which has to be met by consumers, was proving to be a hurdle in achieving the goal of lighting every household. Addressing the issue, Modi said in his speech: "No fee will be charged for electricity connection in households of poor citizens."

The Prime Minister’s plan, named "Saubhagya" ("Good Fortune"), will be funded by a mix of federal government grants, investment by state utilities, and loans, according to a statement, according to available reports.