‘Free Electricity in Delhi for Usage Up to 200 Units’: CM Kejriwal
Kejriwal added that those using between 201 to 401 units would continue to get 50% power subsidy from the government
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday, 1 August, announced that consumers using up to 200 units of electricity won't need to pay their power bills and that the Delhi government will provide full subsidy for those consuming less than 200 units, PTI reported.
Those consuming 201 to 400 units of electricity will continue to get 50% power subsidy from the government, he added. The existing ‘half bill’ scheme introduced in 2015 will apply for those using 201-400 units of electricity.
Since independence, VIPs - politicians and officers have been provided free electricity and water from taxpayers’ money. Now the aam aadmi will also get basic services free, as a matter of right.Arvind Kejriwal, Delhi CM
For consumers using 201-400 units, the tariff applicable is Rs 4.5/kWh, while those consuming between 401 to 800 units will be paying Rs 6.5/kWh. Users consuming over 800 units of power to 1200 units, will be Rs 7/kWh and those using over 1200 units of power will have to shell out Rs 8/kWh, The Indian Express reported.
Fielding questions from reporters over the timing of the announcement coming months prior to February polls, Kejriwal reportedly said that it was because it took time to strengthen the discoms.
The announcement of this pre-poll sop comes shortly after the Kejriwal government proposed free Metro rides for women.
"People used to pay Rs 622 for 200 units of electricity till yesterday, now it's free. For 250 units they used to pay Rs 800, now they'll pay Rs 252. For 300 units, they used to pay Rs 971, now they'll pay Rs 526. For 400 units, they used to pay Rs 1320, now they'll pay Rs 1075,” India Today reported him as saying.
According to PTI, Delhi's power regulator DERC had earlier announced the new electricity tariff for 2019-20. The DERC reduced the fixed charges by up to 84 per cent.
The Twitter handle of the Aam Aadmi Party tweeted out statistics reportedly showing how Delhi’s power bills are the lowest in the country.
‘Kejriwal's Free Power Announcement an Election Gimmick'
The Congress on Thursday termed Kejriwal's announcement an election "gimmick" and demanded that his government rollback the hike effected in 2017 in fixed charges, and provide free electricity to compensate for them.
Delhi Congress working president Haroon Yusuf said the announcement was Kejriwal's "gimmick" in view of the Assembly polls in Delhi scheduled early next year, PTI reported.
He also alleged that Kejriwal's claim that power tariff in Delhi were cheapest in the country was a "lie".
“It’s a lie that Delhi has the cheapest rates of electricity. Even when the Congress was in power in Delhi, power tariff in Delhi was the lowest in the country."Haroon Yusuf, working president, Delhi Congress
"In the last 16 months, Rs 7,400 crore have been realised from people thanks to hike in fixed charges," PTI quoted Yusuf as saying on Thursday.
Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission slashed fixed charges up to 84 percent in its tariff order announced on Wednesday. However, Yusuf demanded that the fixed charges be brought back at the levels from which they were "steeply" hiked in 2017.
Meanwhile, BJP's Leader of Opposition in Delhi Assembly Vijender Gupta said that Kejriwal had claimed that Delhi's power discoms were looting people when AAP came to power in 2015, according to PTI.
“He is the man who had demanded an audit of discoms by CAG charging them of looting people. Now, he is saying the discoms were bankrupt which exposes him.”Vijender Gupta, BJP Leader of Opposition in Delhi Assembly
The BJP leaders, too, demanded that the AAP government must return around Rs 8000 crore realised from power consumers due to hiked fixed charges.
(With inputs from PTI, India Today and The Indian Express)
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