Free Lifeline Electricity
The AAP Delhi Government has adopted a progressive tariff structure for electricity.
‘Bijli half’ from Feb 2015
- Within 2 weeks of the AAP government being sworn in the 2nd time on 14th Feb 2015, they made good on their ‘bijli half’ promise. Manish Sisodia, Delhi Dy CM, announced on 25th Feb 2015 that electricity would be available to domestic consumers using 400 units or less at half the charge.
‘Bijli maaf’ from Aug 2019
- On 1st Aug 2019, this scheme was modified to introduce free lifeline electricity. Delhi households now get power totally free if the consumption is within 200 units per month, and a 50% subsidy for electricity usage of 201-400 units a month.
- Of the 48 lakh domestic consumers in Delhi, 14 lakh got zero electricity bills in Sep 2019. That is 28% of the total number of domestic consumers. The total domestic consumers with zero bill was 14,64,270 out of the total 52,27,857 consumers.
“The free electricity scheme in Delhi is going to be an example of smart governance. Every family is now trying to consume less than 200 units after 14 lakh families received zero amount bills. People are also getting benefits of free electricity and they will now start saving electricity.” – Arvind Kejriwal, Delhi CM, tweeted in Hindi
- The state rewards low electricity consumption by providing big subsidies to its domestic customers.
- Delhi’s tariff, therefore, is the cheapest of the big cities in India.
A study commissioned by Delhi government’s planning department in Feb 2021 found that subsidies are helping households save Rs 2,464/Month.
- In FY 2020-2021, 36.5 lakh households (i.e. 89% of total domestic customers in Delhi) benefitted from the electricity subsidies. (Source: Status Report of Outcome budget 2020-2021)
- For FY 2021-2022, an amount of ₹3090 crore has been allocated for electricity subsidies. That is 96% of the total Energy Budget for 2021-22.
Electricity Subsidy for Lawyers’ Chambers
- The Special Electricity Subsidy Scheme has also been extended to the lawyers’ chambers within the court premises. (Source: Pg 54, Budget Speech(2021-2022), Finance Department, Government of Delhi )
Electricity subsidies to Farmers
- On 27th Feb 2019, the AAP government announced that all farmers in Delhi would be given an electricity subsidy of Rs 105 per kWh per month on the fixed charges for FY 2018-2019 and 2019-2020. With this, the farmers would have to pay ₹20 per KW/month on the fixed charge, which till then was ₹125 per KW/month. (Source: Pg 54, Budget Speech(2021-2022), Finance Department, Government of Delhi )
It has been the AAP Government’s endeavour to curb losses by incentivizing legal power connections for consumers.
- Electricity theft in Delhi is at an all-time low, and the lowest in the country. BSES Rajdhani, for instance, has seen Average Transmission and Collection (AT&C) losses brought down from 17% in 2013 to 8% in January 2020.
- Delhi’s cheap power supply incentivized the mainstreaming of small consumers, who rapidly joined the growing mass of metered consumers. The number of connections has gone up by approximately 20% in the 5 years since 2015. (Source: Pg. 76, Dialogue & Development Commission Report 2020)
- Delhi government has enabled DISCOMs to enter into purchasing agreements for 2,000 MW of renewable power at the lowest rates in the country of about Rs 2.6 per unit.
Other schemes / projects
The AAP Government has taken several steps and devised schemes to ensure 24 hours of uninterrupted power supply.
- A new scheme titled ‘Conversion of 11 KV Network from bare conductor to insulated conductor’ (under the Jagmagati Delhi Programme) has been introduced by the AAP Government. An amount of ₹ 25 crore has been proposed in FY 2021-22. (Source: Pg 57, Budget 2021-22, Department of Finance, Govt. of NCT of Delhi)
“As a responsible and sensitive government, it is our duty to provide safety as well as facilities to the people of Delhi at every level. In view of this, this policy has been brought forth so that the people of Delhi can be saved from the possible danger to life and property that bare conductors pose.” – Arvind Kejriwal, Delhi CM. (Link)
- The Distribution companies will work to remove the mesh of cables criss-crossing various parts of Delhi in the next five years to ensure safety of human lives and properties as well as to beautify the city. (Source: Pg 56, Budget 2021-22, Department of Finance, Govt. of NCT of Delhi)
Transformation of power sector under AAP
“The AAP government’s sound financial management, and honest governance, has led to a doubling of government revenue through indirect taxes in just five years. These additional funds are the direct consequence of the people electing an honest government in 2015. We want to invest this money right back into the people. And on the back of strong power sector reforms over the past five years, Delhi is in a position to do just that.” – Arvind Kejriwal, Delhi CM, in an article in Hindustan Times (15th Aug 2019)
- The transformative story of Delhi’s Power sector