The Maharashtra government is considering giving free electricity to residential users who consume up to 100 units every month. The proposal is on the lines of the Arvind Kejriwal government in Delhi, which gives 100% subsidy in power tariff up to 200 units.
“We want to give free electricity to users who consume up to 100 units. But there are many things that need to considered before a decision is taken,” said energy minister Nitin Raut.
He had announced the proposal after taking charge in December 2019, and his officials have been asked to submit a report on the feasibility and economic burden of the project on the department in the next three months.
The minister has asked his department to start a recovery drive of the over Rs 33,000 crore pending electricity dues, which is largely from unpaid agricultural bills, to ensure that the department’s burden is reduced and the additional revenue can be passed on to low-end consumers.
“There may not be too many consumers who use less than 100 units. These may be mostly rural consumers or those who live in chawls,” said a senior official. He added that Raut has also asked his department to plug the leakages in transmission and distribution network due to theft and illegal connections.
Raut has also asked the department to check the feasibiity of providing electricity to farmers during the day.