Madhya Pradesh set to provide relief to the poor by announcing outstanding power bill waiver scheme

As per reports, the Madhya Pradesh government has announced an outstanding power bill waiver scheme for labourers falling under unorganized sector and poor families.

The state cabinet headed by the Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan approved the Bijli Bill Mafi Yojana 2018 (Power Bill Waiver Scheme) which is expected to benefit about 77 lakh people of the state. Alongside the state cabinet also approved Mukhyamantri Jan Kalyan (Sambal) Yojana 2018 (a scheme to provide subsidized power) in a meeting.

Under these schemes, registered labourers of the unorganized sector and people below poverty line (BPL) would be provided electricity at a cost of as less as Rs 200 a month. In case the bill is lower than Rs 200, the recipient will have to pay the actual bill amount and in the instance of the bill amount crossing Rs 200, the difference amount would be subsidized by the state government.

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People consuming monthly power, less than 1000 watts will become eligible for this scheme. Under the power bill waiver scheme, pending dues (as on June 1, 2018) of registered labourers would be waived completely. This scheme is likely to come into effect from 1st July 2018.

In 2013, the Chouhan-led government had announced a similar waiver which had burdened the state government with an amount of Rs 2,000 crore of which the government paid a subsidy of Rs 652 crore while the rest was borne by discoms.

This time, it could cost over Rs 5,100 crore, of which the government will pay Rs 1,806 crore as subsidy to discoms; 50% of the bill, or Rs 1,806 crore, will be borne by discoms, which will also have to forgo the surcharge, close to Rs 1,500 crore.

While this announcement definitely comes as a respite to many, congressmen do not leave a single opportunity to malign the government initiatives. State Congress unit president Kamal Nath has termed the power bill waiver scheme as a “political stunt” of the CM, and another senior Congress leader Jyotirdaitya Scindia has dubbed Chouhan as “Ghoshnaveer” or the one who only makes popular announcements in a press conference.

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