Year 2022 – and not 2019 - is India’s new milestone

The government wants to provide housing and electricity to everyone by 2022, three years beyond its current tenure

rahul

Rahul Dass | June 8, 2017 | New Delhi


#general elections   #Narendra Modi   #India   #BJP  


The Narendra Modi government seems to have shifted its focus from 2019 and is now looking beyond it. Some of the initiatives are now aligned to be completed by 2022.
 
One need not read too much into the 2022 goal, simply because these are government programmes and it does not necessarily have to be the BJP that must meet those commitments. Any party or alliance that romps home in 2019 will have to tackle it.
 
Prime minister Narendra Modi said in March that the assembly election results in which BJP won in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand – and later went on to form the government in Goa and Manipur -- are a foundation for a “New India”. He asked people to take a pledge to build it by 2022, which was three years beyong his government’s current tenure.
 
Let us take a quick look at the government efforts that have a target of being completed five years hence.
 
Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana: This is only for urban areas. The scheme does not apply to rural areas, leaving out a huge chunk of people.
 
“The scheme will cover the entire urban area consisting of 4041 statutory towns with initial focus on 500 Class I cities and it will be implemented in three phases as follows, viz. Phase-I (April 2015 – March 2017) to cover 100 Cities to be selected from States/UTs as per their willingness; Phase – II (April 2017 – March 2019) to cover additional 200 Cities and Phase-III (April 2019 – March 2022) to cover all other remaining Cities,” said pmindia.gov.in on housing for all (urban).
 
And the number of houses actually built: 82,048 till March 20, 2017. Of these, 62,312 have been occupied. Of the 82,048 houses, 25,873 houses had come up in Gujarat, 10,447 in Karnataka, 10,805 in Rajasthan, 6,490 in Tamil Nadu and 5,506 in Maharashtra. In Uttar Pradesh, 3,822 houses had been constructed, said a media report 
 
At the current pace of construction, in no way can the target of providing housing for all can be met.
 
According to the ministry of housing and urban poverty alleviation, at the slum decadal growth rate of 34%, the slum households are projected to go up to 18 million. Two million non-slum urban poor households are proposed to be covered under the mission. Hence, total housing shortage envisaged to be addressed through the new mission is 20 million.
 
However, KPMG said that there is housing shortage of about six crore units and by 2022, India needs to develop about 11 crore housing units. The level of annual investments in the housing sector is about $110 to $120 billion and it needs investments of more than $2 trillion or about $250 to $260 billion annual investment until 2022.
 
Double farmers’ income: The government has unveiled a grand plan to double farmers’ income by 2022.
 
Economists have serious doubts about meeting this target.
 
A report by Elara Capital says that while it is possible to double nominal income of farmers, it will take 10-12 years to double the real income, reported Moneycontrol.com 
 
The government’s rural spending in FY17 percent shot up by 40 percent as compared to 14 percent in FY16.
 
The Niti Aayog too has urged states to take steps, ranging from creating farmer friendly agriculture market to land leasing reforms, needed for doubling farmers' income by 2022.
 
Electricity for all: During his first visit to his parliamentary constituency Varanasi in September 2015, Modi said that his government would ensure availability of electricity at every home in the country by 2022.
 
There is a catch: Distribution of electricity is the responsibility of the state government, which takes away a significant responsibility of the union government that made the promise.
 
“The distribution of electricity to all consumers falls under the purview of the respective State Government/State Power Utility and it is the responsibility of distribution licensees to supply electricity,” stated Piyush Goyal, minister of state for Power, Coal & New and Renewable Energy (Independent Charge) in a written reply to a question in the Lok Sabha in July 2014.
 
The World Bank said in a report “More power to  India” said that overall, the potential of the sector remains unrealized.
 
“The lack of reliable power is a leading concern for industry and a potential constraint to growth. Annual per capita consumption is low by global standards and 300 million people lack electricity while the peak deficit is more than 10 percent. Sector finances are weak, with distribution utilities being the main contributors to sector financial losses. Utilities in several states have taken on significant commercial debt to finance their operation, which has led to concerns about poor power sector performance spilling over into the financial sector and broader economy. State electricity boards and distribution utilities also continue to require government support to stay in business, including transfers. This imposes a high opportunity cost on the economy by preempting other development spending.”
 
High renewable energy target: Inaugurating India’s pavilion at the Paris climate change conference in 2015, Modi said: "We have a target for renewable energy generation of 175 gigawatts by 2022.”
 
The government in its submission to the United Nations Frame Work Convention on Climate Change on Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) has stated that India will achieve 40% cumulative Electric power capacity from non-fossil fuel based energy resources by 2030 with the help of transfer of technology and low cost International Finance including from Green Climate Fund.
 
As on October 31, 2016, Solar Energy Projects with an aggregate capacity of over 8727.62 MW had been installed in the country.
 
TERI in a report noted that the key barriers are high cost of financing, lack of enforcement of RPOs and renewable energy is an intermittent source of energy. It said that access to grid is a critical challenge as renewable resources are often located far away from the consumer market.

 

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