Energy services to the poor: are they truly subsidized?

There is a myth in India that the cost of subsidy to provide energy services to the poor is very heavy. Very often, it is said that the poor are not willing to pay for the services they get and the government has no option but to go on increasing subsidies since provision of energy services is seen more as a 'welfare activity' rather than an 'economic activity'. Vasudha Foundation in collaboration with Samvad, Ranchi carried out a study across 8 states of India, to assess the rural poor’s ability and willingness to pay for energy services; and dispel this belief. This report carries excerpts of a national survey conducted in India on the ‘ability and willingness to pay for energy services’ by rural communities.

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