Other States

AAP’s free electricity scheme: Punjab announces 300 units of free power from July 1

Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann address a press conference in Chandigarh, on April 16, 2022. | Photo Credit: Twitter/@BhagwantMann

The newly elected Punjab government on Saturday announced 300 units of free electricity from July 1 to every household in the State.

Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann in a video message clarified that the free electricity to farmers for agriculture will also continue and there would be no rise in the electricity tariff for commercial and industrial consumers.

“..from July 1, every household of Punjab will get 300 units of electricity free per month. It will be 600 units for two months. The Scheduled Castes (SC), Backward Classes (BC), Below Poverty Line (BPL) families and freedom fighters, who were getting 200 units of free electricity shall now get 300 units of free power. If they (SC, BC and BPL families) consume more than 600 units of power in two months, then they will have to pay charges for only the additional consumption and not for the entire consumption,” said Mr. Mann.

Mr. Mann added that the families other than SC, BC and BPL, will have to pay full charges if their consumption is over and above 600 units for two months.

“..also I want to let you know that every household which is having up to 2 kilowatts load power connection, their outstanding bills up to December 31, 2021, will be waived,” he said, adding that free electricity to farmers supplied for agriculture will also continue as usual.

Mr. Mann said there would be no increase in the electricity tariff for commercial and industrial consumers. “Our government’s aim is to provide 24 hours electricity to all villages, and towns across the state in the next 2-3 years at the cheapest rate,” he said.

Later, addressing newly recruited officers-employees of Punjab State Transmission Corporation (PSTCL) at a function, Mr. Mann said “There are still some hiccups in providing cheaper and free electricity to the people such as transmission losses, coal issues and some legal issues which his government is working to sort out.”

Providing free electricity up to 300 units to every household in the State was a key promise extended by the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) during the 2022 Assembly election campaign. The announcement has come, a month the party formed its government in the State.

Raising eyebrows over the announcement, Punjab Congress president Amarinder Singh Raja tweeted, “Bhagwant Mann Ji, The Proof of pudding is in the eating ..The truthfulness of your 300-unit free power will be tested in the details and conditions attached to it.. Best of luck to Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) who have to survive now, somehow.”

In Delhi, Chief Minister and AAP supremo Arvind Kejriwal asserted that the AAP government has fulfilled its first election promise in a month after assuming power in Punjab. 

“When before the election we said that we will make electricity free, everyone said that there is not money with Punjab government, Kejriwal is lying, Bhagwant Mann is lying. But see, we have done it. We do what we say. In a month, we have fulfilled our first promise. I assure you that, we will complete all our promises,” Mr. Kejriwal said.

“These parties had completely looted Punjab and the government treasuries did not have any money. But like I say, what you need is good intention. In a month, we saved every penny and made this announcement. We are not corrupt,” he added.

The AAP chief also said that after coming to power in Punjab, big mafias of the approached them on how to pay bribes, but the AAP warned them that they will be jailed if they do not work honestly.

“Opposition parties never want to change this corrupt system, but AAP is going to change this entire corrupt system,” he said.

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Printable version | Apr 27, 2022 4:47:18 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/punjab-announces-300-units-of-free-power-from-july-1/article65325944.ece