Pushed to wall, govt may extend Re 1 power subsidy
Cornered by Resident Welfare Associations (RWAs) and the Opposition, the government is likely to announce a subsidy of Rs 1 for domestic consumers.delhi Updated: Mar 19, 2013 02:10 IST
Cornered by Resident Welfare Associations (RWAs) and the Opposition, the government is likely to announce a subsidy of Rs 1 for domestic consumers.
The government has been providing subsidy to households that consume 200 or less units in a month.This subsidy currently leaves out a huge chunk of ‘middle-class’ power consumers. Sources said that the government is planning to increase the ambit of the subsidy by including in it those who consume 300MW or more every month.
A few MLAs hinted that the announcement will be made in the budget to be presented by the chief minister Sheila Dikshit on Wednesday and will benefit more than 30 lakh people.
Dikshit too said that they were looking into ways of reducing power bills. “We want to lessen the burden on consumers as much as we can,” said Dikshit.
The move has come in the election year and at a time when the Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC) is looking into the discoms’ proposal to increase power tariff.
From Arvind Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party to the BJP to the RWAs, all have criticised the move, stating that every year has seen a revision in power tariffs.
“This will be applicable in residential areas only,” said a senior Congress MLA.
Officials further said that the government currently spends R225 crore annually on subsidy, which will go up manifold if the proposal is accepted. “We are going to access how much we will have to spend on the subsidy,” added the official.
The BJP has made power tariff a poll-issue and has cautioned power regulator of ‘consequences’ if it goes ahead with another power tariff hike. Alleging a major fraud in the power sector, Delhi BJP president Vijay Goel said that they had set a deadline of March 21 for it to answer its questions on submission of fudged data of the power discoms.
The DERC had increased power tariff by 26 per cent last year.