CHANDIGARH: The Punjab government on Wednesday announced to waive power bills of those having electricity connection of up to 2 kW, a move that will put a burden of Rs 1,200 crore on the state exchequer.
The decision was taken at a meeting of the state Cabinet chaired by Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi here.
The Punjab Cabinet also decided that disconnected electricity connections of consumers who could not pay their bills will also be restored without any penalty.
Addressing the media, Channi said, “We today decided that consumers having up to 2 kw load, who constitute 80 per cent of total consumers, their arrears will be waived and the government will bear this.”
He said after touring villages and towns, he came to know that the biggest grievance of people was related to power bills.
He said power connections of many people have been snapped as they could not pay bills.
There are between 55,000 and one lakh consumers whose power connections were cut because of non-payment of bills.
“We discussed this issue in detail in our Cabinet meeting,” he said.
He said there are a total 72 lakh consumers in the state.
There are 53 lakh consumers who have up to 2 kW load in the state, the CM said.
Their arrears till their last bill will be waived, he said.
The arrears may be of months or years that will be borne by the state government, he said in a reply to a question.
He said the government will pay arrears of the consumers to the power utility PSPCL.
Channi said it will put a financial burden of Rs 1,200 crore on the state exchequer.
He further said his government will come down heavily on the sand mafia.
“We are working round the clock on this. It is an old nexus, which has to be broken. We will come out with a policy soon in this regard,” he said.