Karnataka government releases guidelines for free electricity scheme in state | Bengaluru - Hindustan Times
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Karnataka government releases guidelines for free electricity scheme in state

By, Bengaluru
Jun 06, 2023 12:59 AM IST

Karnataka government on Monday issued guidelines to avail free electricity under the Gruha Jyothi scheme

On Monday, the Karnataka government issued guidelines to avail free electricity under the Gruha Jyothi scheme. Registering on the Seva Sindhu portal has been made compulsory for availing free electricity up to 200 units.

Karnataka government issues guidelines to avail free electricity under the Gruha Jyothi scheme. (PTI)
Karnataka government issues guidelines to avail free electricity under the Gruha Jyothi scheme. (PTI)

The guidelines include Gruha Jyothi scheme is only for residential usage, not applicable for commercial usage; During billing, extra usage bills will be given to customers excluding free units under the scheme; Zero bills will be given to the customer if units are less than eligible units under the scheme; Registering at the Seva Sindhu portal is compulsory to avail benefits of the scheme; Customers must link their Customer ID/Account ID to Aadhar and Remaining electricity balances till June 30 should be cleared within three months if failed electricity will be disconnected.

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The monthly average consumption of customers (Monthly average of 2022-23) will be used to calculate how many units of free electricity a house will receive under the scheme. The customers will be eligible for only 10% more units of their monthly usage average. The scheme will come into effect in July. People don’t have to pay electricity bills from August if they consume equal or fewer units of their monthly average units.

The Gruha Jyothi free power scheme will require 13,000 crore annually and 96% of households with electricity connections will be covered, energy minister KJ George said.

George said there are 21.4 million households with revenue register (RR) numbers in the state, adding that the government would calculate the annual average consumption of a household and provide a buffer of an additional 10% usage. “If this falls within 200 units, the household is eligible for free electricity. If a household crosses its annual average consumption and the 10%buffer, they will have to pay for the extra units,” the minister said.

After the cabinet meeting on June 2, chief minister Siddaramaiah announced that all households that consume less than 200 units a month would not have to pay electricity bills. However, on Monday, the government released eligibility guidelines. Here is the list of guidelines.

The Karnataka electricity regulatory commission (KERC), which had hiked the rate of 70 paise per unit of electricity in the state on May 12, has now again ordered an average increase of 51 paise per unit under the pretext of ‘fuel and power purchase cost adjustment charge’ (FPPCA).

On the issue of a hike in electricity tariff by 2.89 per unit, Siddaramaiah said the decision was not taken by the government but by the Karnataka electricity regulatory commission (KERC). “We did not decide to hike the electricity tariff. There is Karnataka electricity regulatory authority, which has decided. It had been decided in the past. We have only implemented it,” he explained.

The Karnataka small scale industries association (KASSIA) warned that its members would shut down the industry if the recently announced rise in the price of electricity is not reversed.

The association has been constantly urging the government to defer all such hikes that hurt the industry till normalcy is restored in the economy or for at least two years, but our voice is not being heard, the president added. “While we accept that this government needs time to settle down before taking any major decisions, such major issues concerning the very survival of industry should have been taken with a little more sensitivity towards our grievances and situation.”

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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    Arun Dev is an Assistant Editor with the Karnataka bureau of Hindustan Times. A journalist for over 10 years, he has written extensively on crime and politics.

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