Andhra Pradesh

Top priority to nine-hour free power supply to farm sector, says Balineni

Energy Minister Balineni Srinivasa Reddy has said that utmost priority is being accorded to supplying power to the agriculture sector for nine hours during day time to give a boost to the rural economy.

The ultimate aim was to create a robust power sector by strengthening the power utilities and make Andhra Pradesh a destination for cost-effective power, Mr. Srinivasa Reddy said in a release on Friday.

The government sanctioned ₹1,700 crore for upgrading the agriculture feeders in tune with the importance given to the nine-hour free supply, he said.

AP-Transco had undertaken infrastructure development works for better implementation of the scheme, the Minister said, and added that the government intended to make free power to the farmers a permanent scheme.

Solar plant

Mr. Srinivasa Reddy further said that the government was in the process of establishing a 10,000 MW solar power plant to exclusively cater to agriculture.

“The government is spending ₹8,354 crore on the free power scheme that will benefit 18.50 lakh agriculture connections. This apart, ₹718 crore is being provided for supplying power at subsidised rates to the aqua farmers,” he said.

Besides, the government released 65,565 new agriculture connections in 2019-20.

As part of the efforts to improve the precarious finances of the distribution companies (Discoms), the government released ₹17,904 crore in 2019-20 towards clearing their subsidy arrears.

Out of subsidy arrears of ₹13,391 crore pending as on March 31, 2019, the government released ₹8,655 crore in 2019-20 and ₹9,249 crore towards subsidy announced in 2019-20 and other charges.

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Printable version | Nov 24, 2020 6:08:25 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/top-priority-to-nine-hour-free-power-supply-to-farm-sector-says-balineni/article32933391.ece

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