Bihar govt to pay power bill subsidy to consumers: Nitish
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Friday announced in the state Assembly that the state government would provide subsidy on power bill to consumers instead of power companies from 2017-18 fiscal.
The CM's statement came six days after Bihar Electricity Regulatory Commission (BERC) had come up with an unprecedented hike of 55 per cent in power tariff that sparked protests.
Kumar said that decision to file a tariff petition before BERC for 2017-18 on zero subsidy was part of a "well thought strategy" on the basis of which the Commission issued its tariff list without subsidy.
"This will help consumer understand at which rate electricity has been made available to it and how much subsidy is given by the state government on his consumption," Kumar said.
"Subsidy amount would be spelled for clear-cut understanding of a consumer," he said in presence of Energy minister Bijendra Prasad Yadav.
The CM said Bihar was the first state to experiment this policy of providing power subsidy straightway to consumers.
"Officials told me that senior officials of the Centre have appreciated the concept. If this succeeds it would be followed by others too," he said.
The Bihar announced major rationalisation of power tariff for different categories of consumers which he said was lower than that in Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal in 2016-17 fiscal.
Giving details, he said for Kutir Jyoti (KJ) for BPL families with limit of 50 units, BERC had announed Rs 6.08 per unit rate. On this the state government would provide Rs 3.58 per unit subsidy after which the final rate would come down to Rs 2.50 a unit.
He said this was Rs 3.44 a unit in West Bengal and Rs 3.17 per unit in UP.
For dometic consumer in rural areas, the Commission suggested tariff of Rs 6.45 per unit on which the state would provide Rs 3.10 per unit subsidy on which the final rate would come down to Rs 3.35 a unit, he said adding the same is Rs 4.75 and Rs 3.35 per unit in West Bengal and UP respectively.
For Urban domestic consumer, BERC rate was Rs 6.48 per unit, subsidy is Rs 1.48 a unit and final charge is Rs 5 per unit. This is Rs 5.02 a unit in West Bengal and Rs 5.28 per unit in UP.