A customer gets a shave at a barber shop illuminated by the torch function of a mobile phone at night in a village on the outskirts of Alwar, Rajasthan, India. (Photographer: Anindito Mukherjee/Bloomberg)

India Government Says It's on Track to Meet Electricity Deadline

(Bloomberg) -- The government of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said it’s on track to meet its official March 31 deadline to provide electricity connections to every home, saying a Dec. 31 goal promoted publicly by the power ministry was only an “internal target.”

The ministry said in a statement Wednesday that it aimed to achieve full electrification by year-end “so that even if some states fall behind the internal target date they will still be able to complete the household electrification well before the official target date.”

Both schedules have been cited by the government on different occasions. Power Minister R.K. Singh said in November that the government would achieve full electrification by the end of 2018, a deadline it missed. In April, the ministry said the government launched the initiative -- “Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana,” which translates to Prime Minister’s Power Plan for Every Home -- “to achieve universal household electrification in the country by Dec. 31, 2018.”

Simultaneously through last year, Singh maintained the official deadline of March 2019 in written responses to questions in the nation’s parliament.

Modi, whose Bharatiya Janata Party faces tough national elections in the coming months, has made full electrification a key goal as he seeks to shore up support among rural voters.

©2019 Bloomberg L.P.