The electricity subsidy provided to nearly 46 lakh residents of Delhi will no longer be in place from Friday as Lieutenant Governor VK Saxena has not cleared the file to extend the scheme, the city’s Power Minister Atishi said at a press conference.
Atishi claimed that the Arvind Kejriwal-led Cabinet had decided to extend the subsidy for this year, but the lieutenant governor has been stalling the file.
“From tomorrow, people will get inflated bills without subsidy,” Atishi said. “I even sought time from the LG office to discuss the matter but it’s been more than 24 hours and I have not been given time. The file has also not come back yet.”
Meanwhile, the lieutenant governor’s office has denied Atishi’s allegations and termed it “drama” by the Aam Aadmi Party government, reported The Indian Express. The officials claimed that Saxena already approved the scheme on Thursday and sent the filed to Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Friday.
The alsi criticised the Kejriwal government for not conducting an audit of Rs 13,549 crore given as subsidies to power distribution companies in the last six years, PTI reported.
The Delhi government provides free electricity to residents who consume up to 200 units electricity in a month. For consumption between 201 to 400 units, the residents get a 50% subsidy, capped at Rs 850 per month. In September, the Kejriwal government had made the subsidy optional. Consumers now need to fill up a form if they wish to avail the subsidy.
The lieutenant general has not issued an official statement on the allegations that he is stalling the file on power subsidy. However, officials from his office told PTI that in a note sent to Kejriwal, Saxena has expressed surprise on the delay in conducting an audit of the subsidies given to power distribution companies.
Saxena has said that subsidies are public funds collected as revenue from the residents of Delhi and it was the responsibility of the government to ensure that benefits reach the targeted population rather than getting pilfered for the gain of vested interests, the officials told PTI.