The Bharatiya Janata Party government in Gujarat on Tuesday waived unpaid electricity bills worth Rs 625 crore of more than 6 lakh people in rural areas, PTI reported. This is part of a one-time settlement scheme.

The announcement came a day after the Congress announced loan waivers for farmers in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh within hours of forming government.

State Energy Minister Saurabh Patel said those who have lost their power connection because of “electricity theft” would also be eligible for the scheme. “We had snapped electricity connections of over 6.20 lakh people from rural areas for not paying the energy bills in time,” Patel said. “The amount of unpaid bills stands at Rs 625 crore. Now, our government has decided to waive this entire bill amount.”

The minister said consumers can restore their power connections by paying Rs 500. The scheme will remain in effect till February 2019.

The state is set to hold a bye-election for the Jasdan Sssembly seat in Rajkot district on December 20.