In a fresh tussle in the national capital, Delhi Power Minister Atishi said power subsidy to nearly 46 lakh people in the city will cease from Friday onwards as Lieutenant Governor V K Saxena is yet to clear the file to extend the subsidy to consumers.
However, the Lt Governor’s office said the power subsidy extension for the year 2023-24 has been approved by Saxena and accused Atishi of levelling false allegations.
In what could emerge as the latest flashpoint between the city government and the Lt Governor office, the minister said she has sought a meeting with Saxena over the issue but there has been no response.
“The subsidy we give to 46 lakh people will stop from today. From Monday onwards, people will get inflated bills without subsidy,” she said in a press conference here.
The minister said the Delhi Cabinet has approved the extension of power subsidy for the year 2023-24 but the file is still pending in the LG office.
“Till the file is approved we can’t give subsidy. I even sought time from the LG office to discuss the matter but it’s been more than 24 hours and I have not been given time. The file has also not come back yet,” she alleged.
Atishi said that the file was sent a few days back and a response is still awaited.
“The budget for this subsidy has been passed by the Vidhan Sabha. The government has money for subsidy but we cannot spend it,” she said.
Reacting to her allegations, an LG House official said, “The power minister is advised to refrain from unnecessary politicking and baseless false allegations against the LG. She should stop misleading people with false statements. If at all she and the CM should answer the people of Delhi as to why was a decision in this regard kept pending till April 4 when the deadline was April 15? Why was the file sent to LG on April 11? And what was the need for a drama on April 13 by writing a letter and then a press conference today?”
The AAP government in Delhi provides free electricity to consumers with 200 units of monthly consumption. Those having 201 to 400 units of consumption per month get a 50 per cent subsidy capped at Rs 850.
Last year, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announced that a power subsidy would be provided to only those consumers who apply for it. According to official figures, over 48 lakh among more than 58 lakh domestic consumers have applied for power subsidy.
The AAP has government allocated Rs 3,250 crore for power subsidy in its budget for 2023-24.
(With PTI inputs)