Even as two senior ministers in the Maharashtra government have expressed divergent views on providing free electricity to people who consume up to 100 units of power, city-based economist H.M. Desarda on Wednesday supported the feasibility of such a measure on the lines of the one in Delhi.
State Power Minister Nitin Raut had last week said the Maharashtra government was considering a proposal to provide free electricity to domestic users whose monthly consumption is up to 100 units.
The proposal is on the lines of the 100% subsidy being given to domestic consumers in power tariff up to 200 units by the Aam Aadmi Party government in Delhi. However, Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar later said that such a plan might not be feasible in Maharashtra at present.
“Power usage up to 100 units can be made free for domestic consumers if we follow the Delhi government pattern. The basic requirement for this is accountability. The poorer sections of society will benefit from it,” Mr. Desarda said.
When asked about the likely loss to the State exchequer, Mr. Desarda said only 5% consumers fall in this (poor) category in Maharashtra, while people from other stratas of society can bear these expenses without any major burden.
“The government agencies spend a lot of time and energy recovering money from these consumers. The move will help save their efforts and an automatic controller can curb malpractices,” Mr. Desarda said.