Arvind Kejriwal making false poll promises on free power: Punjab CM Amarinder Singh

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By PTI

CHANDIGARH: Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Monday accused his Delhi counterpart Arvind Kejriwal of making false poll promises on free electricity, claiming that the AAP leader has ignored farmers in his own state.

Kejriwal recently promised free electricity to households that consume no more than 300 units per billing cycle and round-the-clock supply if his Aam Aadmi Party is voted to power in Punjab next year.

The AAP promise comes at a time when Punjab is facing a power crisis and some leaders in Singh’s own Congress are harping on it.

On Sunday, Navjot Singh Sidhu, who is at loggerheads with the CM, too suggested that consumers should get 300 units free.

But the chief minister claimed that the AAP model on power supply in Delhi has failed.

“The Kejriwal government has completely failed the people of Delhi on all counts, with no free power to the farmers in the villages located in the national capital and excessively high power tariffs for the industry,” Singh alleged in an official statement here.

He said the people of Punjab have already rejected the “pathetic Delhi model” of governance.

The Punjab CM termed the Delhi power tariff structure a case of “organized loot,” claiming that the AAP-led government was openly allowing private power distribution companies to collect excessively high charges at the cost of the common man.

He claimed that while Delhi charges Rs 9.80 per unit for power to industries, the state government offers subsidized tariff of Rs 5 to attract industry to Punjab, which has witnessed more than Rs 85,000 crore worth of investment in the last four years.

Subsidised power is being given to 1,43,812 industrial units in Punjab with an annual subsidy of Rs 2,226 crore, his statement said.

In sharp contrast to Punjab, where his government is giving free power worth Rs 6,735 crore to 13,79,217 farmers, the AAP government in Delhi had made no effort to extend similar support to the agricultural community there, the CM claimed.

The Delhi government is “befooling” people by putting a small amount into one pocket — the 200 units of free domestic power — and taking away a bigger amount from another pocket, Singh alleged, referring to the tariff for shopkeepers, industry and farmers.

The Delhi government charged Rs 11.34 per unit from small shopkeepers and other commercial establishments, which is 50 per cent higher than the Punjab rate, he claimed.

The CM said the Punjab government pays an annual power subsidy bill of Rs 10,458 crore while the Kejriwal government shells out just Rs 2,820 crore.

This translates into an average power subsidy in Punjab of Rs 3,486 per person, against Rs 1,410 for a Delhi resident, according to him.

During the year 2020-21, Punjab State Power Corporation Limited sold 46,713 MW of power while the distribution companies in Delhi sold 27,436 MW, the statement said.

Total revenue earned through sale of power was Rs 29,903 crore in Punjab and Rs 20,556 crore in Delhi, he said.

As a result, the average cost per unit in Punjab comes to Rs 6.40 while it is Rs 7.49 in Delhi, he said.



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