Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday announced that those in the national capital who use less than 200 units of electricity per month will not have to pay for the power consumption. He has also continued the 50% subsidy for those consuming up to 400 units per month.
However, the freebie appears to become a heavy burden on the state exchequer's pocket. The annual cost owing to not charging those consuming within 200 units of electricity every month and those who use up to 400 units of power per month comes to approximately Rs 1800-2000 crores.
The 50% subsidy which the people of Delhi availed earlier too was costing the state around Rs 1500-1600 crore. With the additional freebie of not charging those who use less than 200 units of power monthly, the incremental cost of all these will be almost Rs 300-400 crore per year thus making the total cost to the exchequer to approximately Rs 1800-2000 annually.
Delhi CM Kejriwal announced 'Free Lifeline Electricity of 200 units to all' earlier on Thursday. Addressing a press conference in Delhi, Kejriwal said that household consuming 200 units or less power will now get a Zero Bill every month. However, if a household will use more than 200 units, then existing rates of electricity will apply, he said. He added that those consuming 201 to 401 units of electricity will continue to get 50 percent power subsidy from the Delhi government.
Responding to the claims of a "freebie" ahead of the Assembly elections, the AAP convenor said that since the citizens have voted for an honest government, it is giving the money saved back to the people.