In an effort to promote the power sector, the government would soon announce a series of policy measures including a national electricity policy, a top official said on Wednesday.
"Very soon we would be bringing out a rural electricity supply policy in pursuance of the responsibility cast upon us under the Electricity Act," Power Secretary R V Shahi said at a workshop on decentralised power generation and supply in New Delhi.
The government would also formulate a national electricity policy, Shahi said.
This would address crucial issues including matters pertaining to the growth of the sector and other developmental issues, and the Central Electricity Authority has been asked to provide technical inputs on this matter.
Shahi said his ministry had conducted several rounds of discussions with various stakeholders on the matter before formulating a draft policy.
On the issue of rural electrification, he said as much as 56 per cent of rural households do not have access to electricity with six major states including Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand and Assam accounting for a large portion.
Shahi said the government had last year changed the definition of rural electrification under which a village would be treated as electrified only if at least 10 per cent of the households had access to power besides key institutions including local panchayat offices and dispensaries had to be covered.
Shahi said that following the change in the definition, the total number of unelectrified villages were likely to rise from the current estimate of 80,000.
He said the government had formulated an accelerated rural electrification plan under which 100,000 villages besides 1 crore (10 million) rural households would be electrified over the next two years.
To achieve the target, it has also announced a scheme where by the government would extend 40 per cent capital subsidy to cover distribution, generation and supply schemes.