Allaying fears of farmers over fixing of smart meters to pump-sets, Energy Minister Balineni Srinivasa Reddy on Friday made it clear that the free power scheme to the farmers would be continued at any cost.
Addressing a district-level electricity committee meeting here along with his Cabinet colleague A. Suresh, the Energy Minister said there was no question of the YSRCP government diluting the free power scheme introduced by the former Chief Minister, Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy, in the undivided Andhra Pradesh.
The metering of farm pump-sets had been taken up as part of reforms in the electricity department with a view to ensuring quality power to the farmers, he explained, adding that it was due to wrong policies of the previous TDP government that the department was saddled with debts to the tune of ₹75,000 crore.
The meters would be provided free of cost to the farmers, and a separate bank account would be opened for them for crediting the amount towards settling the power bill to the distribution companies.