Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann on Saturday said around 51 lakh households in the state will receive zero electricity bills and asserted that the promise of 300 units of free power has been implemented from July 1.
“I am going to share good news with Punjabis regarding electricity guarantee…the promise of free electricity has come into effect from July 1…the (electricity) bill for July-August will come in the first week of September… “The good news is that around 51 lakh households will get zero electricity bills…what we say, we do it,” Mann said in a tweet in Punjabi.
The AAP-led government had earlier announced that it will provide 300 units of free electricity to every household from July 1.
Giving 300 units of free electricity was one of the major poll promises of the Aam Aadmi Party during the Punjab assembly elections. Party’s national convener Arvind Kejriwal had promised free electricity of up to 300 units per household in the state in June last year.
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Kejriwal had also promised waiver of pending electricity bills and round-the-clock power supply in the state.
In April, Mann had said if electricity consumption exceeds 600 units in two months, then a consumer will have to pay for the entire power usage.
But scheduled castes, backward castes, below-poverty-line households and freedom fighters will be charged just for over and above 600 units, the chief minister had then clarified.
Punjab has a two-month billing cycle for power supply.
When Finance Minister Harpal Singh Cheema presented the state budget on June 27, he had said that providing 300 units of free power will put an additional burden of Rs 1,800 crore on the state exchequer.
In the state budget, a total power subsidy bill has been proposed at Rs 15,845 crore as against Rs 13,443 crore in 2021-22.
Punjab provides subsided power to various categories and out of which, the subsidy bill on account of free electricity to the farming sector alone is around Rs 7,000 crore.