New Delhi: India plans to provide affordable electricity to all households in the next five years, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said on Tuesday. "The Government of India aims to provide 24x7 electricity to all households in the country and affordable access to electricity in the next 5 years," he said inaugurating an International Seminar on Energy Access organised by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy and CII in New Delhi.
Singh also said the government was taking steps to offer cooking gas to all rural households. At present, around 12 per cent of around 190 million rural households today use LPG to meet their cooking energy needs. "Giving all the 240 million households in the country an entitlement of six LPG cylinders per year will require only around 25 million tonnes of LPG," Singh said. "This should be manageable for our country. But, extending distribution network to all villages may take time," he said.
The Prime Minister said the government was working on a mechanism to provide subsidy to targeted individuals so that they can afford to have electricity and LPG. Singh said that the government is looking to put in place a mechanism where subsidy would be directly transferred to bank accounts of the beneficiary.
He said in one pilot scheme in Mysore district of Karnataka, 27,000 deliveries of subsidised cylinders have been made after successful biometric authentication of any family member present at home. "In the next phase it is planned to transfer the subsidy amount directly to the bank accounts of bona fide beneficiaries," he said.