In a major bonanza to the Delhiites ahead of the Assembly elections due next year, the AAP government on Thursday announced free electricity to those consuming up to 200 units a month.
The decision came into force with immediate effect, announced Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announced at a press conference here.
"Those who consume up to 200 units in a month will have to give zero electricity bill, while those who consume between 201-400 unit will approximately get 50 per cent subsidy," said Kejriwal.
The AAP leader detailed how the power bills will come down post the new directive and compared the rates during his tenure and those in the past under Congress government led by Sheila Dikshit.
" In 2013 the consumers had to pay Rs 928 for 200 units. 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 will pay Rs 252. For 300 units they used to pay Rs 971, now they will pay Rs 526. For 400 units, they used to pay Rs 1320, now they will pay Rs 1075," he said.
Kejriwal said it is his government's basic commitment to provide electricity to all, even those who are poor and cannot afford to pay.
"Keeping in view such poor consumers we have taken this decision. For consuming 200 units hardly a fridge, one television, 2 bulbs and 1 fan is used," the chief minister explained.
Kejriwal said that the decision will in-fact make people use electricity wisely and no substantial increase is expected in subsidy given on electricity.
"Those who have bills up to 210 unit will now look at using a little less so that their electricity bill comes within the 200 unit range for which they are required to pay nothing. This will in fact help in saving electricity. Further, the subsidy will approximately remain the same to Rs 1800 crore to Rs 2000 crore and no substantial rise is expected in it," said Kejriwal.
Crediting his AAP government for improving the condition of electricity companies, Kejriwal told ANI that they have worked up to this level.
"When we took over, the electricity companies were bankrupt and power cuts were rampant. Now we have reached this level that we are providing electricity for free up to 200 units of consumption," he told ANI.