Power minister sings praises of Modi, hopes for electricity to all by 2019

  • Gurpreet Singh Nibber, Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
  • Updated: Apr 12, 2015 21:23 IST

Union minister of state for power, coal and renewable energy Piyush Goyal said on Sunday that about 28 crore people in India (nearly one-fifth of the country’s population) didn’t have access to power even though the country had surplus electricity-generation capacity.

Goyal, who was in SAS Nagar for the Indian School of Business (ISB) graduation day, said it was because India lacked proper fuel and transmission linkages, in the northeast and southern parts especially. He hoped to be able to supply electricity to all by 2019.

“Things will improve quickly, as the Narendra Modi government has added installed 22,000-megawatt generation capacity in its 10 month rule, so far; laid 22,000 km of transmission lines; made coal available easily to the thermal-energy plants; and put focus on renewable energy. “India is going to be largest generator of electricity from renewable sources,” he said.

“We have made the coal auction transparent, which is an example of how our government works,” said Goyal, quoting these examples from a bunch of papers in the presence of the country’s top industrialists, including Adi ISB chairman Godrej, and ISB SAS Nagar campus founder supporters Rakesh Bharti Mittal of Airtel and Sunil Kant Munjal of the Hero group. Hitting out at the previous dispensation, the minister said commissions, committees and empowered groups of ministers didn’t help; instead the leader mattered.

Goyal’s lesson in PR to students
Piyush Goyal’s lecture to the Indian School of Business graduating class on Sunday was a lesson in public relations. He didn’t miss any opportunity to promote the Narendra Modi-led NDA (National Democratic Alliance) government at the Centre or discredit the previous UPA (United Progressive Alliance) government without naming anyone.

He weaved his address around the “10 commandments”, good examples from the 10-month-old Modi government, and asked students to work in partnership with the stakeholders and be quick-decision-making leaders. “Be outcome oriented and not outlay focused,” he said, counting the virtues of the rule of transparency; root-cause analysis; prioritising issues; time-bound execution; focus on technology; accountability; and close monitoring.

Goyal, 50, a chartered accountant and investment banker who played a key role for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the 2014 parliamentary elections, picked up examples for his address from Modi’s and his government’s style of functioning. He is also pursuing a management course from Harvard University in the US.

Speaking on close monitoring, the minister said Modi had been monitoring the Jan Dhan Yojana closely and the results were clear. He also spoke on the “Swachh Bharat” and “Beti Padhao” campaigns. After the ceremony, he left for the airport to board a flight to Delhi.

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