I carefully listened to the Prime Minister talking about Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana or the Saubhagya scheme. Though Saubhagya has eluded me ever, I did not have the misfortune of not having electricity connection at home. Also I don’t have any serious complaint about the quality of electricity supply.
Experts have by now pointed out that there is nothing new in the Saubhagya scheme and that it is a mere rephrasing of Rajiv Gandhi Grameen Vidyutikaran Yojana and the subsequent Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana.
But the major takeaway from the PM Modi speech is the “electric cook stove”. He has exhorted the big Indian oil and gas PSU, ONGC to develop an electric cook stove. Clean cook stove is a serious subject and active government intervention is most welcome.
But I foresee the following things unfolding in coming days .
1).Power Ministry of Govt of India will approve Deen Dayal Upadhyay Vidyut Chulha Yojana in 2018. An estimated 30 crore households will be initially provided with electric cook stoves under the scheme.
All BPL families will get the electric stove free of cost. Others will get it at nominal cost. ONGC will be the nodal agency to implement the scheme.
2).ONGC will float an Expression of Interest or EOI for design, development, production, financing (for APL families) and supply of the cook stoves. The salient features of the EOI will be
a)A registered Indian MSME can submit the EOI
b )The cook stove cost to consumer inclusive of GST and delivery charges will not be more Rs101/unit. (Government would consider waiving off the CGST& IGST components and respective states will take a call on SGST).
c)The MSME may have technological tie up with large Indian/foreign companies but necessary approval and certification has to be obtained from Ministry of Science and Technology, Govt of India.
d)Preference will be given to solar/clean energy products
e) 99% components of the product should be indigenously developed.
f) MSMEs submitting the EOI should have sufficient technical /commercial /manufacturing credentials.
g) EOIs should be submitted within ninety days of notification.
3)Based on the EOIs submitted, two MSMEs from each region (North, South, East and West) will be selected and will be asked to submit Detailed Project Report (DPR) within ninety days.
4) DPRs will be evaluated by the competent authority for a maximum period of 180 days (extendable at the discretion of the competent authority). One MSME from each region will be selected to produce a prototype. Government will reimburse 90% cost of designing and producing the prototype.
5) The prototypes will be put to trial in not less than 1001 villages across the region for not less than 1001 hours.
6) On successful completion of the trial MoUs will be signed with the four MSMEs incorporating points such as delivery schedule, quantity, logistic, preliminary and final inspection, payment terms and financing the product for APL families.
7) Supply orders will be issued to the MSMEs within 30 days of signing the MoUs subject to pleasure of the competent authority.
This is what I foresee. But it is likely that by the time EOIs are submitted there will be a general election. Though Modi may come back to power,there will be a different Power Minister and in all probability the EOI will be cancelled and a fresh one will be issued, but that will take time.