Sheila prefers subsidy balm on power bills

Following the widespread protests and criticism on the unprecedented hike in power tariff, the Delhi government may announce a fresh subsidy on Monday to soothe frayed tempers. The Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC) had announced a steep 34 per cent tariff hike for the domestic consumers last Tuesday.

This led to protests by both the resident welfare associations (RWAs) and the opposition parties. Several Congress ministers and MLAs have also learnt to have conveyed their reservation over such a steep hike. Following the resentment, the Delhi cabinet is likely to take up the issue and announce some relief on Monday.
Sources say that the government may increase the subsidy on power consumption by a consumer up to 250 units per month in a peak month. Presently, the government extends subsidy of Re 1 per unit (KWh) to a domestic consumer for the consumption up to 150 units per month in a non-peak month or 200 units per month in a peak month. This largely benefits the consumers under the below poverty line (BPL) category. Sources in the power department said that if the subsidy was increased up to 250 units, the number of beneficiaries could increase from 19 lakh at present to 25 lakh.
Talking to Millennium Post, a close aide to chief minister said, 'The government will like to continue subsidy on limited consumption of power. However, the quantum of subsidy is yet to be decided by the cabinet and consumers can expect anything. The subsidy will help in power conservation and overcoming wasteful power consumption.'

Earlier also Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit had said that there would be no rollback in the power tariff hike announced by the DERC, although she had hinted that an increased subsidy for poor consumers was likely to come about.
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