File photo of Prime Minister Narendra Modi
File photo of Prime Minister Narendra Modi
Business & Economy

Modi reviews performance of key infrastructure sectors

NetIndian News Network

New Delhi, May 8, 2017

Prime Minister Narendra Modi reviewed progress of key infrastructure sectors, including petroleum and natural gas, power, renewable energy and housing, at a meeting here yesterday.
The meeting, which came close on the heels of a similar review of connectivity-related infrastructure sectors in the last week of April, lasted for about three hours and was attended by top officials from the Prime Minister's Office (PMO), NITI Aayog and all infrastructure Ministries of the Government of India. 
In the course of a presentation made by NITI Aayog CEO, it was noted that remarkable progress had been made in several sectors, including generation of renewable energy, affordable and rural housing, LED bulbs, and so on.
The Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana has benefited 1.98 crore below poverty line (BPL) households so far. The contribution of gas to the primary energy mix has risen to 8%. As many as 81 cities are being covered under City Gas Distribution networks, it was stated.
The Prime Minister called for greater emphasis on ethanol blending, and evolution of mechanisms so that farmers can benefit the most from this process. He said that setting up of second generation bio-ethanol refineries should be expedited, to utilize agricultural residues for this purpose.
The rural electrification programme is proceeding swiftly, with over 13,000 villages electrified out of a total of 18,452, and is on track for completion within the targeted 1000 days. Over 22 lakh rural BPL households were electrified in 2016-17, and over 40 crore LED bulbs were distributed in the same period. The total inter-regional transmission capacity has been significantly enhanced, with 41 gigawatts transmission capacity being added from May 2014 to April 2017.
The total renewable generation capacity has crossed 57 gigawatts, with an increase of 24.5% being registered in the last fiscal year. The capacity addition in solar energy in FY17 was the highest-ever, at 81%. Solar and wind tariffs have now achieved grid parity, with rates well below Rs. 4 per kilowatt-hour.
Mr. Modi called for establishment of some model solar cities, where the power requirement is fulfilled solely by solar energy. A similar effort can be made to make certain localities kerosene-free, he said.
He emphasized that manufacturing of solar equipment should be given priority, to drive employment generation, and derive maximum benefit from the renewable energy drive.
Under Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana, remarkable progress has been achieved in rural areas, an official press release said. IT and space-based applications are being extensively used to monitor progress of the scheme. Over 32 lakh houses have been completed in rural areas in FY17. Mr. Modi enquired about the training and skills being given to rural masons, who were involved with this scheme.
Seeking a consolidated approach to various schemes, such as electrification, IT networks and housing, the Prime Minister called for a focused approach on the 100 worst performing districts in each case. He directed that future reviews should focus on problems at the district-level, so that the progress of poorly performing districts can be better monitored.