Kejriwal cuts power tariff, millions to benefit

The chief minister suggests an audit into the power companies in the capital, giving them time until Wednesday to file their objections.

By (Agencies)

Published: Tue 31 Dec 2013, 8:54 PM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 3:26 PM

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal fulfilled his second major election promise on Tuesday and cut power tariff by half to benefit an estimated 280,000 households.

Kejriwal, who missed his first day in the office on Monday due to an upset stomach, chaired a cabinet meeting on Tuesday to announce electricity rates would be halved starting January 1, 2014 till March 31, 2014.

The chief minister also suggested an audit into the power companies in the capital, giving them time until Wednesday morning to file their objections if any.

“The subsidy will apply to those consuming less than 400 units of power and help 280,000 consumers in Delhi,” Kejriwal told a late Tuesday Press conference.

The new power rates will go into effect from Wednesday.

This would benefit some 28 of the 34 lakh households in Delhi, he added after a cabinet meeting, describing the intended beneficiaries as the poor and the middle class.

Tuesday's decision came a day after he announced that 667 litres of water would be provided free to all households in the capital who have metered connections.

Kejriwal, whose AAP made providing water and drastically cutting power rates its main election promise, also met Comptroller and Auditor-General (CAG) Shashi Kant Sharma to seek an audit of the power companies.

Kejriwal told the media that his government would wait for the responses from the companies before taking a final decision on audit.

"By tomorrow evening we will decide whether to go for audit or not," he said.

He estimated that the revision in electricity tariff would cost the government Rs200 crore but Rs140 crore of this would be borne by the power companies against their outstandings.

Only two days into his job, the anti-corruption champion implemented two key campaign promises to slash power costs and supply free water.

Not only that, but he also stuck to his word on greater transparency on Monday when he tweeted freely about the “Delhi belly” that had spoiled his first day.

Critics have said giving out free water will encourage wastefulness in a country where water is in short supply.

Kejriwal, whose pledge to fight for India’s “common man” won over voters in New Delhi state polls, had been set to start governing the capital on Monday after being sworn in at the weekend.

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