Zee Media Bureau/Ritesh K Srivastava
New Delhi: After fulfilling his party`s promise of providing free supply of 700 litres of water everyday for Delhi households, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday gave Delhiites a perfect New Year gift by slashing electricity charges and promising further revision of power tariffs.
The Chief Minister made the big announcement after chairing a cabinet meeting at the Delhi Secretariat this evening. He had earlier announced that the three major power distribution companies in the capital will be audited starting tomorrow.
Making the big announcement, Kejriwal said, “The power tariff cut, effective from tomorrow, January 1, will apply to those homes that consume up to 400 units of electricity a month. Those who consume more will pay for the entire supply.”
“Those who consume 0 to 200 units or 201 to 400 units of electricity, their rates will be halved. 50 percent subsidy on power tariff will be given to those households who consume up to 400 units per month,” Kejriwal further stated.
The Chief Minister also said the decision would benefit nearly 34 lakh consumers and would cost his government Rs 60 crore for the three months left of this financial year.
`We will work to the best of our abilities till we are in power,` Chief Minister said adding, “The electricity rates will be revised further once the audit of power distribution companies is over.”
When quizzed how the AAP government will implement this decision, Kejriwal said, “A mechanism will be evolved once the audit of power companies is done.”
Kejriwal earlier met the Comptroller and Auditor General Shashi Kant Sharma and sought the audit of three major power distribution companies in Delhi.
Chief Minister also gave time till Wednesday morning to the three major power distribution companies to file their replies in this regard.
Defying doctor`s advice, an unwell Chief Minister went to meet the CAG to discuss the issue before going into a cabinet meeting.
Ahead of that Kejriwal told reporters, “Delhi government is of the view that audit of these companies can be done. But under the provisions of law the three companies were being given the opportunity of being heard on the government audit of their finances.”
"They are being given time till tomorrow morning by which they will have to give their representations. The cabinet will meet in the evening," he told reporters before leaving for his meeting with the CAG.
After his meeting with the CAG, Kejriwal told newsmen that the latter is willing to audit power distribution companies in Delhi.
“We have given notice to power companies for audit,” the Chief Minister said, adding, “Power companies have been asked to send their reply on why there shouldn`t be an audit by tomorrow.”
After the AAP government delivered on its promise of supplying 700 litres of free water everyday for Delhi households, expectations were running high whether the ruling party would be able to deliver on its promise of reducing the power tariff by 50 percent in the national capital.
Kejriwal had on Monday delivered on the AAP`s poll promise by announcing 20 kilo litres of free water a month to all metered households. The Congress, however, questioned the move, saying Kejriwal should ensure that every citizen of Delhi gets 700 litres of free water per day.
The government`s decision, however, came with a rider that those consuming over this limit will have to pay as per tariff, enhanced by 10 percent, effective January 1.
The promise of 700 litres of free water to every Delhi household was made in the AAP poll manifesto.
Ever since Kejriwal formed AAP, he has been focusing his Delhi campaign on reducing power tariff and free water supply. Electricity tariffs were revised in the Capital in July this year. Delhiites pay a minimum of Rs 3.90 per unit tariff.
AAP has said that it would seek complete statehood for Delhi, special audit of all electricity companies, regularisation of unauthorised colonies, stopping donations in private schools and improving working conditions of contract labour and lowly paid employees.