The benefit of free electricity will be started from July 1. Its formal announcement can be made by Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann today. In June 2021, the first guarantee of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal for the voters of Punjab was 300 units of free electricity. This promise was similar to the one implemented by his government in New Delhi.
Earlier, the consumers of Punjab were getting the most expensive electricity in the country. The Punjab government plans to follow the Delhi pattern to introduce this benefit, under which the consumption of up to 300 units per month will be free. Those consuming more than 300 units of electricity will have to pay. Officials of Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) have advised the government that the promise of making electricity free should be implemented in monsoon instead of implementing it in the summer season. Since the power crisis in Punjab can deepen anytime due to shortage of coal.
AAP sources, however, indicated that the party is not ready to go back on its promise of free electricity and wants to provide it to 73.39 lakh consumers. Let us inform that Punjab has an outstanding loan of Rs 3 lakh crore. Free electricity for domestic use would mean an additional burden of Rs 5,000 crore. It currently provides free electricity to agricultural households of Punjab and 200 units free of cost to all Scheduled Castes, Backward Castes and Below Poverty Line (BPL) families (a scheme launched in 2016). The total electricity subsidy bill of the state in the financial year 2021-22 was Rs 10,668 crore. Out of this, Rs 7,180 crore has been given to farmers and Rs 1,627 crore as subsidy to SC, OBC and BPL families. PLC