New Delhi: Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) National Co-ordinator Arvind Kejriwal will meet with Prime Minister Bhagwant Mann in Delhi on Tuesday to finalize the modalities for fulfilling their pledge promise to provide free electricity for up to 300 units in Punjab. Officials at Kejriwal’s office said the scheme would be announced soon.
Kejriwal held a meeting on Monday with bureaucrats from Punjab on the issue. “It will take about a month since the AAP government was formed in Punjab. Kejriwal is very clear that AAP’s free electricity pledge should be fulfilled as soon as possible. All factors, from communication with the Punjab State Electricity Regulatory Commission (PSERC), until the costs to be borne and also ensure that the scheme is not abused are discussed, “said an official, who requested anonymity.
Man was sworn in on March 16. The free electricity scheme was the first poll promise Kejriwal made in Punjab on June 29 last year in the run-up to the by-elections. The AAP soared to power and won 92 of the 117 seats.
Punjab has a free electricity scheme for the poor, which was introduced in 2016 by the previous Congress government. unit free electricity.
AAP promised free electricity to all households consuming up to 300 units, regardless of their economic status. “If the energy consumption exceeds 300 units, the consumer will have to pay. Under the AAP scheme, all existing beneficiary categories such as SC and BPL families, which received 200 free units, will now receive 300 free units and will only be charged for consumption above and above 300 units, “said a second official, requesting anonymity. “All other non-beneficiaries who currently do not receive electricity benefits will receive 300 units per month. If this category consumes more than 300 units per month, they will have to pay for the entire consumption.
PSERC announced last week that the rate for different types of consumers will be the same as last year. For 2022-2023, the average cost of power supply was kept at 6.48 per unit.
Punjab has about 7.3 million domestic, 1.4 million agricultural consumers for whom electricity is completely free, 1.15 million commercial and 0.15 million industrial consumers.
Roughly 15% of the 7.3 million household consumers make use of the existing free electricity scheme. For 2021-2022, the power subsidy law was in Punjab 10,668 crore. Of these, 7,180 crore was used for the subsidy to farmers, and 1,627 crore for SC, BC, and BPL households. The rest of the subsidy bills are largely available with discounts on electricity for households as well as various categories of industry.
To roll out the AAP scheme, the subsidy bills are likely to increase at least 5,000 crore and will be above the current cost of approx 10,668 crore.