Electric Power Subsidy: If you also live in Delhi and are taking advantage of the government’s free electricity scheme, then this news is useful for you. Delhi Lieutenant Governor VK Saxena has asked Chief Secretary Naresh Kumar to direct the power department to place the Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission’s (DERC) advice on capping power subsidy in the city before the Council of Ministers and take a decision within 15 days.
Report was made while considering the complaints:- Saxena has asked Chief Secretary Kumar to instruct the Electricity Department to place the advice of the DERC before the Council of Ministers and take a decision within 15 days. Officials said the report on which Saxena’s instructions are based was prepared by Kumar. He made this report while looking into the complaints of non-payment of dues by electricity distribution companies (DISCOMs) to electricity generation companies (GENCOs).
Government saving:– In December 2022, it was handed over to Lieutenant Governor and Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. The Chief Secretary has said in his report that in 2020, the DERC had advised the Delhi government to give electricity subsidy to consumers having only 3 or 5 KW electricity connections. With this, about 95 percent of the consumers of the capital would have come under the subsidy and the government would have saved about Rs 316 crore every year.
Consultation on hold:- The Lieutenant Governor has given this direction on the statutory advice of DERC given to the Delhi government regarding ‘limiting’ the power subsidy to ‘poor and needy consumers’. This consultation was put on hold. Reacting to this direction, the Delhi government said that the Lieutenant Governor has once again violated the Supreme Court’s directions and the Constitution by going beyond his jurisdiction in an ‘illegal’ manner.
Rejection of existing plan:- The DERC advised that consumers with a load of more than 5 kW would definitely not be ‘poor’ and should not be subsidised. When the Electricity Department put this advice in front of the concerned minister in November 2020, he asked to put it before the Council of Ministers next year. According to the Chief Secretary’s report, the power department again placed a note before the then power minister Satyendar Jain on April 13, 2021, but it was rejected in favor of the current plan.
The Chief Secretary’s report states that the power department not only failed to place the statutory advice of the DERC for the consideration of the Lieutenant Governor, but also did not place it before the cabinet for consideration. According to the report, the approval of the Finance Department was not even taken before going ahead with the existing subsidy scheme. On the basis of this report, the Lieutenant Governor. The Chief Secretary has been asked to inform the Chief Minister about the alleged lapse in the work operation rules by the then Power Minister and request him to instruct the members of his Council of Ministers to faithfully follow its provisions.