Giving in to public protest against privatisation of water services and indiscriminate pricing of water, the modified national water policy provides for subsidy to the poor but at the same time emphasises the need for subjecting water to allocation and pricing on ‘economic principles’.

It says the private sector can become a service provider in public private partnership mode if the states so decide. The twice-revised draft calls for withdrawal of power subsidy to the agriculture sector on the plea that it leads ‘over-use of electricity’ and water. It, however, proposes separate electric feeders where “limited’’ ground water use for agriculture is “desirable”.