CHANDIGARH: Keeping its poll promise, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government in Punjab announced free supply of 300 units of power each month, starting Friday, to every family in the state. An amount of Rs 1,800 crore was reserved for this purpose in the budget proposal this year.
Announcing the decision, Punjab CM Bhagwant Mann on Friday said, “While all other governments took five full years to keep their poll promises, our government had fulfilled its major guarantee within three months of coming to power. Every family across Punjab will get 300 units of free power each month.’’
The move will benefit 73.39 lakh consumers. Over 60 lakh consumers are estimated to consume up to 300 units of power a month.
Mann added that arrears of all electricity bills pending till Dec. 31, 2021, of all households have been waived. AAP’s national convener and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Friday tweeted to praise the Mann government’s decision. “We have fulfilled our promise. The Aam Aadmi Party does what it says. People of Punjab will get rid of expensive electricity,” Kejriwal posted.
According to sources, the final blueprint of the scheme is yet to be cleared by the state Cabinet, which is expected to meet soon. A meeting of the Board of Punjab State Power Corporation was held on Friday to finalise the details.
The earlier schemes announced by the previous governments, wherein all domestic consumers having load of up to 1 kw, and the SC, BC and BPL consumers, got 200 units of free power, will be subsumed in the new scheme.
The total power subsidy bill of the state government this year is expected to rise to Rs 15,846 crore. The state government also has to pay a power subsidy of Rs 7,117 crore from the previous years, which was not paid by the previous government. Thus the state will have to pay Rs 22,962 crore this year as subsidy which translates to 24 per cent of the state’s total revenue receipts of Rs 95,378 crore for this year.(THE NEW INDIAN EXPRESS)