- “The AAP government’s free power programme is good politics, better economics”
“The State will have to incentivise consumers to use electricity to fulfil their basic needs. The AAP’s free power subsidy does exactly that.” – Akshay Marathe, former AAP Spokesperson
Akshay Marathe’s opinion piece was published in the Hindustan Times in Jan 2022.
Justifying his claim, the author stated that:
- Electric appliances simplify lives, freeing time for more productive work
- Programme is more efficient than a Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) to low income households
- Savings accrued tend to be spent in local markets, stimulating demand, providing a fillip to the local economy
- Increased per capita electricity consumption increases per capita Gross Domestic Product (GDP) – a 2020 UC Berkeley study
- Delhi Government’s low tariffs and subsidies led to increased power consumption, with Delhi’s GDP growing at 7.7% between 2015-16 and 2020-21, defying India’s economic slowdown
- Self regulation of wasteful energy use is incentivised
- Power generation too is shifting from coal-based to cheaper, greener, renewable alternatives
- Reduction in losses and increased legal compliance has also led to better financial health of Discoms, making them willing partners.