In Himachal Pradesh, preparations have started to provide 300 units of free electricity to domestic consumers instead of 125 per month.
Special Chief Secretary and Principal Advisor to the Chief Minister Ramsubhag Singh has sought information from the officials of the Electricity Board regarding three points.
Officials have been asked that how many consumers will get the benefit of 300 units of free electricity? How much will it cost? How will it be compensated? In Himachal, the monthly bills of 14 lakh consumers have become zero due to providing free electricity up to 125 units.
The board is also not charging meter rent and other service charges from such consumers. There are 22.58 lakh consumers of domestic category in the state. The Congress had guaranteed 300 units of electricity per month as soon as it came to power.
The board’s revenue loss has reached 275 crores due to providing free electricity up to 125 units per month to domestic consumers. In lieu of 125 units of free electricity per month, the government is giving a subsidy of Rs 66 crore per month to the board.
From January 2023, the board needs a grant from the government to continue the 125 unit free electricity scheme. By giving 300 units of free electricity per month, the problems of the board are expected to increase further.
Government will have to Give its Share of Electricity
To provide 300 units of electricity per month to domestic consumers, the state government will have to give its share to the supply board. The government gets 12 percent royalty from the power projects established in the state.
The government sells this share to the Northern Grid. Many times the government also sells its shares to the electricity board at cheap rates. Apart from this, the government also has the option of giving a subsidy of more than 100 crores per month to the board.
Willingness can be asked to Give free Electricity
On the lines of Delhi and Punjab, the Himachal government may also voluntarily ask consumers to avail 300 units of free electricity in the state. Under this, consumers will have to apply to the board and tell whether they want free power supply or not.