The Delhi Lt Governor has moved on DERC’s advice to ‘cap’ power subsidy in the national capital. This move has drawn criticism from the Aam Aadmi Party for appearing to side with the private electricity companies rather than the common people of Delhi.
The Deli Government had earlier promised to give 50% subsidy to the citizens of Delhi on their electricity bills. This promise came in the wake of complaints regarding exorbitant electricity bills faced by the residents. The promise turned into a reality and Delhiites were getting a subsidy on their electricity bills. The electricity companies in Delhi, on the other hand, have consistently argued that the subsidy burdened them and that the Delhi Government was ignoring their concerns.
The Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC), which is responsible for regulating the operations of the private electricity companies in Delhi, has repeatedly warned that the subsidy burden was causing the companies considerable financial losses. The Commission had advised the Delhi Government to ‘cap’ the subsidy at the current level and come up with a mechanism for distributing the subsidy in a way that was both fair and equitable.
The Delhi LG’s move to ‘cap’ the subsidy appears to have come in response to the DERC’s suggestion. In a tweet, the LG’s office said that the move was aimed at ‘ensuring sustainability of the power sector and fair tariff for all.’ The Delhi Government has, however, criticized the move, saying that it would only serve to benefit the private electricity companies and leave the common people more burdened.
The main point of contention between the Delhi Government and the private electricity companies is the formula for calculating the electricity tariff. The companies have been demanding a higher tariff, arguing that the current rate is insufficient to cover their operational costs. They argue that the subsidy is causing them significant financial losses, and that they are not able to recover their costs from the consumers.
The Delhi Government, however, disagrees with this argument. It says that the companies are raking in huge profits and that any increase in their tariff would only benefit them further. It also maintains that the subsidy is necessary to provide relief to the common people who are already struggling to cope with the rising prices of essential commodities.
The AAP has expressed its unhappiness with the Delhi LG’s move, saying that it is aimed at placating the private electricity companies rather than serving the interests of the common people. The party has argued that the move would only benefit the companies and leave the people more burdened.
The AAP has also accused the LG of acting at the behest of the BJP government at the Centre, which it alleges has been trying to undermine the Delhi Government’s initiatives in every way possible. The party has said that it will continue to fight for the rights of the people and ensure that the subsidy is not withdrawn in any way.
The Delhi Government has also expressed its displeasure over the move. Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has said that the move is unfair and that it would only serve to benefit the private companies. He has urged the LG to reconsider the decision and come up with a mechanism for distributing the subsidy in a way that was fair and equitable.
The move to ‘cap’ the subsidy at the current level raises serious questions about the government’s commitment to providing relief to the common people. The subsidy was seen as a major initiative of the Delhi Government to ease the burden on the people, and any move to withdraw it would be seen as a betrayal of trust.
The Delhi Government should work towards finding a solution that benefits all stakeholders, including the private electricity companies and the common people. At a time when people are struggling to make ends meet, any move that increases their financial burden would only add to their woes. The government should, therefore, find a way to distribute the subsidy in a way that is sustainable and fair.