Power rates won't be hiked this year: Jain
NEW DELHI: The Delhi government will not hike electricity rates this year, Delhi Power Minister Satyendar Jain said in the assembly on Friday.
Replying to a question by Leader of Opposition Vijender Gupta, Jain said the Delhi government is the only one in the country which has not hiked electricity rates in the past two years.
One of the notable achievements of the AAP-led Delhi government has been ensuring smooth power supply with minimum load shedding, 50 per cent reduction in power bills to consumers and no power tariff hike in the last two years.
As one of its poll planks during the 2015 Delhi Assembly election, Arvind Kejriwal had announced 50 per cent subsidy for people consuming less than 400 units a month, thereby benefitting most middle-income households across the city.
However, the discussion turned into an argument when Gupta said that the government had appointed the Chairman of Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC) without following procedures, which was struck down by the Delhi High Court, and a new chairman had to be appointed.
To this, Jain replied that the high court order had been challenged in the Supreme Court.
He went on to add that the Delhi government had followed norms in the appointment and the previous Lieutenant Governor had cancelled the appointment for political reasons.
When Gupta pressed for an answer on whether electricity bills will become expensive, Jain said: "It was you who tweeted four-five days back that electricity rates would go up."
"You can work for it (for hiking power tariffs) and we will work for the rates to remain unchanged," he added.
Gupta raised the question during zero hour that a single member of DERC is functioning, which he said is not good for consumers.