Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann today announced 300 units of free electricity each month for every household in the state from July 1.
Mr Mann said Scheduled Castes, backward castes, below-poverty-line households and freedom fighters currently getting free 200 units each month will now get 300 units of electricity monthly, adding that if their consumption is more than 600 units in two months, then they will be charged only for the exceeded units.
The Chief Minister said for other households, if the electricity consumption exceeds 600 units in two months, then the consumer will have to pay for the entire power usage.
Moreover, he said there would be no increase in the electricity tariff for industrial and commercial consumers while free power to the farming community would continue.
The announcement comes as the Bhagwant Mann-led government in the state completed one month in the office today.
Providing free electricity to every household for up to 300 units was one of the major promises made by AAP in the run-up to the Punjab Assembly polls.
AAP convener and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, in a tweet, lauded the Punjab government's decision to provide 300 units of free electricity to every household in the state and said that AAP does not make false promises, unlike other political parties.
भगवंत जी,इस शानदार निर्णय के लिए बहुत बधाई— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) April 16, 2022
हमने अपना पहला वादा पूरा किया। हम जो कहते हैं, करते हैं। दूसरी पार्टियों की तरह झूठे वादे नहीं करते
अब साफ़ नीयत वाली ईमानदार,देशभक्त सरकार आ गयी है। भ्रष्टाचार ख़त्म करके पैसे बचायेंगे।पंजाब की तरक़्क़ी में पैसे की कमी नहीं होने देंगे https://t.co/sePwm5WUft
Meanwhile, Punjab Congress chief Amrinder Singh Raja Warring took a potshot at the Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann and questioned the move referring to the conditions attached to it.
"The Proof of pudding is in the eating ..The truthfulness of your 300 unit free power will be tested in the details and conditions attached to it.. Best of luck to PSPCL who have to survive now, somehow," Mr Warring tweeted.
Bhagwant Mann Ji ,— Amarinder Singh Raja (@RajaBrar_INC) April 16, 2022
The Proof of pudding is in the eating ..The truthfulness of your 300 unit free power will be tested in the details and conditions attached to it..
Best of luck to PSPCL who have to survive now, somehow.
Congress MLA Sukhpal Singh Khaira asked the Chief Minister why free electricity would be provided from July only.
Mr Khaira, in a tweet, said, "I welcome Bhagwant Mann for fulfilling his promise of 300 units of free electricity but why wait till July 1? Is there an issue of fiscal management? And please clarify if the bill is 301 units will the consumers be charged the full bill? Lastly any move to do away with tubewell subsidy?"
I welcome @BhagwantMann for fulfilling his promise of 300 units free electricity but why wait till 1st july?Is there an issue of fiscal management?And please clarify if the bill is 301 units will the consumers be charged full bill?Lastly any move to do away with tubewell subsidy?— Sukhpal Singh Khaira (@SukhpalKhaira) April 16, 2022
Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann last month announced the rollout of the doorstep ration delivery scheme, which was also AAP's key campaign agenda in the polls.
Earlier on March 19, Mr Mann, in the first decision of his first Cabinet meeting, threw open 25,000 jobs in various state government departments, including 10,000 in the Police Department.
In last month's Punjab Assembly polls, the AAP decimated the Congress, the Shiromani Akali Dal-Bahujan Samaj Party combine and the BJP-Punjab Lok Congress-SAD (Sanyukt) alliance.
The Congress, which was in power in the state, got 18 seats in the 117-member assembly, while the AAP won 92 seats.