Kejriwal announces 50 per cent cut in power tariff, free water

SansadTV Bureau

Fulfilling two major poll promises, the AAP government on Tuesday announced a 50 per cent subsidy on monthly power consumption of up to 400 units and 20,000 litres of free water per month to all households that would cost the exchequer around Rs 1,670 crore annually.

The free water scheme and power subsidy will come into effect from March 1. The decision on both the schemes was taken at a Cabinet meeting presided over by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.

“We delivered on our promises on slashing power tariff by half and giving free water. We will also fulfil other promises,” Kejriwal said.

Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, addressing a press conference, said all the consumers whose monthly power consumption do not exceed 400 units will get 50 per cent subsidy in tariff and the scheme will benefit around 36 lakh or 90 per cent of the consumers.

However, the rider is that if consumption crosses 400 units, then full charges from zero base will have to be paid.
Earlier, the Chief Minister had met Comptroller and Auditor General Shashi Kant Sharma and discussed the status of scrutiny of finances of the private power distribution companies by the auditor which was ordered by the AAP government in its first stint.

Sisodia said the subsidy scheme will be reviewed after the CAG submits its report on the finances of the discoms.
On the water scheme, Sisodia said 20,000 litres of free water will be supplied to all households having functional water metres and the decision will benefit around 18 lakh families.

However, if the monthly consumption exceeds 20,000 litres then charges for entire supply of water will have to be paid.
Both 50 per cent subsidy and free-water schemes were launched during AAP’s first government but were discontinued after it quit on February 14 last year.

The Deputy Chief Minister said the free water is being extended to group housing societies as well and all the consumers under the scheme will not require to pay any other charges including the sewerage charge.