Punjab: 300 units free electricity to every household from July
The common man in Punjab can breathe a sigh of relief as the Aam Aadmi Party-led (AAP) state government has announced that domestic customers can get 300 units of free electricity starting July 1. Notably, the announcement came as CM Bhagwant Mann-led AAP government in Punjab completed one month in office on Saturday. Here are more details.
- The move to implement the new power initiative was reportedly finalized recently after Mann and some top Punjab officials held meetings with AAP National Convener and Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal.
- Nearly 84% (roughly 62.25 lakh) of the state's domestic consumers are expected to benefit from the new scheme.
- Notably, Kejriwal had promised 300 units of free power to Punjab's electorate back in June 2021.
In Punjab, the previous Congress-led government had reduced electricity prices by Rs. 3/unit. As per the current rules, customers are charged Rs. 1.19/unit (instead of the previous Rs. 4.19/unit) for the first 100 units and Rs. 4/unit (down from Rs. 7/unit) for consumption between 100-300 units. Users are charged Rs. 5.76/unit (instead of Rs. 8.76/unit) for consumption above 300 units.
As per the latest scheme, if a customer's power consumption for two months exceeds 600 units, they will be required to pay for the entire usage. Moreover, Scheduled Castes, Backward Castes, freedom fighters, and the below-poverty-line families will also get 300 units free instead of 200 units. However, if their two-month consumption exceeds 600 units, they would be charged only for the excess units.
To announce the new power initiative, CM Mann released a video message on Saturday. "From July 1, 2022, each household in Punjab will get free electricity of 300 units per month. And it will be 600 units for two months," he stated in the video. Prior to Mann's statement, the state government had also put out newspaper advertisements on Saturday to announce the scheme.
While promising free power up to 300 units to Punjab's people, Kejriwal earlier noted that power shutdowns were a common scenario despite "surplus power" generation in the state. "There are many people in villages who got 'wrong' bills and their power connections were cut because of the non-payment and such people resorted to stealing power," the Delhi chief minister had said last year.
Apart from the new power scheme, the Mann-led Punjab government made several announcements for the welfare of the people earlier. Last month, the chief minister announced the launch of the doorstep ration distribution scheme, which was also an important election campaign agenda for the AAP. In March, Mann had also announced 25,000 job openings in several state government departments, including the Police Department.