International Energy Agency hails Narendra Modi’s electrification drive, calls it ‘one of the greatest success stories’

By October 11th this year, 95% of Indian households had access to electricity, up from 86% in 2017. Electrification will also boost productivity, spur innovation and enhance well being.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) has hailed Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s rural electrification drive as ‘one of the greatest success stories’. The Narendra Modi government had completed the electrification of all villages in April, this year.

“This means that for the first time ever, the total number of people without access fell below 1 billion, according to new data from World Energy Outlook 2018. In particular, one of the greatest success stories in access to energy in 2018 was India completing the electrification of all of its villages,” the IEA said in its assessment in the World Energy Outlook 2018.

Electrification will also boost productivity, spur innovation and enhance well being. “Electricity can increase productive hours in a household leading to positive outcomes on education and economic wellbeing. It can also spur innovation and lead to entrepreneurial micro businesses ventures and, in time, lead to greater agricultural yields. Benefits also flow to the likes of schools, banking and medical services,” the agency said.

Ujjwala Yojana

The agency also lauded the Ujjwala Yojana for providing free LPG connections to poor households. “In India, 50 million free LPG stoves and initial refills have been provided to poor households via the high-profile Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana since 2015, and the government has set a target of providing LPG connections to 80 million households by 2020,” the agency said.
By October 11th this year, 95% of Indian households had access to electricity, up from 86% in 2017. As per PwC partner Kameswara Rao, “it took a strong political will and diligent work by the utilities to get it done,” as the last 10-15% is the most challenging considering the large population, distances and low affordability.

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