Delhi chief minister and Aam Aadmi Party chief Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday announced electricity usage up to 200 units would be free in the national Capital from this month. The chief minister said the launch of the “Free Lifeline Electricity” scheme was a “historic decision”, and added this would help the common man. The state will go to the polls early next year.
Kejriwal claimed Delhi has the cheapest electricity in the country and cited the rates in other cities. The Delhi government will provide 50% subsidy to those who consume between 201 units and 401 units of electricity. “Nobody says anything if the VIPs and big politicians get free power,” NDTV quoted Kejriwal as saying. “Why deprive the common man? Am I wrong in taking this step?”
The scheme will benefit at least 33% consumers in Delhi during summer. “During the winter, the power consumption of around 70% people is below 200,” Kejriwal said.
“Every family deserves a life of dignity,” Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia tweeted minutes after Kejriwal’s announcement. “CM Arvind Kejriwal declares Free Lifeline Electricity of 200 units to all Every family deserves a life of dignity. Just like good education and healthcare, a basic quantum of electricity to run lights/fans at home is essential for that.”
After the Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission announced new tariffs for 2019-’20 on Wednesday and brought down fixed charges for domestic consumers with sanctioned load of up to 15 kilowatt, Kejriwal said there had been no hike in electricity tariffs in Delhi for the last five years. He added that it was the only place with round-the-clock electricity and the lowest tariffs.