Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on June 28 announced that the Centre has provided an additional outlay of more than Rs 19,000 crore for its Bharat Net Project.
This outlay will “enable extension of Bharat Net broadband connectivity to all remaining villages,” the finance minister said.
As of date, over 1.56 lakh out of 2.5 lakh gram panchayats are already connected or service-ready, she added.
The announcement was part of the slew of relief measures announced by Sitharaman today amid the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic. Of these 8 were relief measures, wherein 4 are “absolutely new”. She added that there is also another set of 8 items pertaining to growth, exports and employees – of which 6 are new.
Here are the specifics of the scheme:
The scheme is under ‘Digital India’ and will provide Rs 19,041 crore for broadband to each village through Bharat Net via PPP model.
Sitharaman noted that broadband connectivity to all inhabited villages within 1,000 days was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on August 15, 2020. She added that out of 250,000 Gram Panchayats, 156,223 Gram Panchayats have been made service ready by May 31, 2021.
Further, implementation of Bharat Net in PPP model in 16 States will be bundled into 9 packages on viability gap funding basis.
The total outlay will be Rs 61,109 crore, including already approved amount of Rs 42,068 crore in 2017, she added.Follow our LIVE blog on the COVID-19 pandemic here