Punjab govt likely to announce 300 units of free electricity on April 16
At a press conference in Jalandhar on Thursday, chief minister Bhagwant Mann had said: “On the 16th April, we will give great good news to the people of Punjab”, indicating it could announce free power supply to households
Patiala: The AAP government in Punjab, which completes one month in office on Saturday, is likely to announce 300 units of free electricity to households, people familiar with the matter said on Friday.
During a press conference in Jalandhar on Thursday, chief minister Bhagwant Mann had said: “On the 16th April, we will give great good news to the people of Punjab”, indicating it could announce free power supply to households. Mann met Delhi chief minister and AAP national convener Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday to discuss the scheme of providing free electricity in Punjab for up to 300 units.
Providing free electricity to every household for up to 300 units is one of the major promises made by AAP in Punjab in the assembly elections that concluded last month.
The Punjab government has already procured data from Punjab State Power Corporation Limited for doling out 300 units of free electricity. The state government has asked it to work on two modalities --- giving 300 units free to each household or charge a full bill if consumption crosses 300 units.
The PSPCL collects ₹8,500 crore as power charges from 72 lakh domestic consumers annually.
The PSPCL gets ₹1,700 crore from the government as subsidy for 200 free units every month to SC, weaker section, below poverty line and other such beneficiaries. Besides, ₹2,300 crore will be the subsidy burden of ₹3 per unit rebate given by the former Congress government to state consumers. This adds up the subsidy bill for domestic consumers to ₹4,000 crore. “If AAP govt doles out free 300 units to each household, it will put an additional burden of ₹4,000 crore on the state exchequer. And if we charge consumers who use more than 300 units, the subsidy bill will be ₹1,500 crore,” said a PSPCL official.