The Rajasthan Assembly witnessed noisy scenes on Thursday over the issues of power supply to farmers and revision of power tariff, with the Opposition accusing the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party of failing to keep its promise of eight-hour supply to agricultural consumers and of not examining the scope for tariff reduction.
The matter came up during Question Hour when the National People’s Party MLAs, Kirorilal Meena and Geeta Verma, sought to know the steps being taken to fulfil the promises made by the BJP in its election manifesto. Congress legislators were quick to join them.
When Energy Minister Gajendra Singh, replying to the original question, affirmed that the State would not only become self-sufficient in power sector but also achieve a surplus by August this year, Mr. Meena said the State government could reduce power tariff by 50 per cent if it effectively checked T&D losses.
“The Delhi government has proved that this can be done,” said Mr. Meena referring to the Aam Aadmi Party government’s decision to provide 50 per cent subsidy on power consumption up to 400 units. The Congress MLAs joined him in demanding that the power supply be improved and streamlined, prompting the treasury members to get up and point out to the previous Congress-led government’s “complete failure” on the front.
Amid the din in the House, Mr. Singh said the power infrastructure at this stage was not strong enough to support eight-hour supply to farmers. “We have to resort to shutdowns for improving the infrastructure. This we will do around Holi when sowing [of crops] is finished,” he said.