16. It is a matter of concern that even after 50 years of planned development there are still about 80,000 villages, which do not have access to electricity. A package of initiatives is therefore being launched to improve the power distribution system in rural areas. This includes:
l Completion of electrification of bulk of the remaining villages in the next 6 years.
l Extension of assistance to the States for village electrification works under the PMGY whose funding is being augmented.
l Stepping up credit support from Rural Electrification Corporation to SEBs for speedy electrification of dalit bastis, households of scheduled tribes and other weaker sections of society.
l Improving the quality of power supply in villages, augmentation of distribution networks in rural areas supported by REC under the Accelerated Power Development Programme.
l Earmarking a sum of at least Rs 750 crore out of RIDF for rural electrification works.
l Augmenting the resources of REC, by allowing it to float capital gains tax exemption bonds along with NABARD and NHAI under Section 54 EC of the Income Tax Act.