Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy has made it clear that not even a single free power connection will be disconnected, and asked the Cabinet Ministers to put at rest any misgivings about the free power scheme.
Addressing the Cabinet meeting at the Secretariat on Thursday, Mr. Jagan said that power supplied to farmers was always free, and added that all connections in the free power scheme would be regularised.
“Moreover, we are launching reforms in the power sector such as Direct Benefit Scheme, in which farmers would be credited money in their accounts, and they in turn pay the bill to the Discoms. Reforms in the power sector are among four conditions to get FRBM relaxations. We are spending ₹8,000 crore every year on free power scheme. Even the expenses incurred towards setting up of meters will be borne by the government. We are adding 10,000 MW of solar power, and a free power scheme would be continued for the next 30 years. I am also making it clear that uninterrupted nine-hour power supply will be given in all feeders from Rabi season. Let me also remind that free power scheme is the brainchild of YSR and no one can take away the credit, including N. Chandrababu Naidu,” said Mr. Jagan.
Stating that he had set his eyes on providing quality and uninterrupted power supply for nine hours, the Chief Minister said that his government had allocated ₹1,700 crore for upgradation of feeders after it had emerged that in 40% of feeders, there was no basic infrastructure.
Mr. Jagan said that during Mr. Naidu’s regime, the government had not paid arrears of ₹8,000 crore to Discoms, and added that his government had cleared all the arrears. The free power scheme with reforms would be launched in Srikakulam district from April 1, 2021 on a pilot basis, the Chief Minister added.