Chandigarh, Jun 29 (PTI) AAP leader and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal promised free electricity to every Punjab household that consumes up to 300 units of power if his party forms government in the state next year.
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader did not clarify whether 300 units of free electricity will be given per month as Punjab has a two-month billing cycle.
In Delhi, the AAP government provides 200 units of free power per month. Kejriwal, however, said if any household gets an electricity bill of 301 units, then the consumer will have to pay for the entire consumption.
Unveiling a slew of sops ahead of the state Assembly polls early next year, Kejriwal told reporters here, 'The AAP government in Punjab will provide up to 300 units of free electricity to each family.' He said if voted to power, his party government will also waive arrears of domestic consumers.
There are many people in villages who got 'wrong' bills and their power connections were cut because of the non-payment and such people resorted to stealing power.
'They are living in fear. We will give them respectable lives. Therefore, their old domestic bills will be waived. Arrears and pending bills will be waived,' he said.
In another announcement, Kejriwal said if voted to power, AAP will provide 24-hour power supply on the lines of Delhi.
Dubbing pre-poll promises as 'Kejriwal's guarantee', he said despite a surplus power production in the state, long power cuts are imposed and people do not get electricity for farming.
'It is a Kejriwal guarantee and these are not Captain's (Amarinder Singh) promises,' he said.
Kejriwal said power in Punjab is the 'costliest' in the country despite the state being an electricity producer.
'We do not produce power in Delhi. We buy it from other states and despite that we have power in the national capital almost at the cheapest rates,' he said. Kejriwal alleged collusion between the power companies and those who are at the helm in the government.
'Because of this collusion, the power is costly in Punjab,'he alleged.
'We have to eliminate this collusion. If this collusion is eliminated and we set the power companies right, then power can be cheaper in Punjab the same way it is in Delhi,' he stated.
The promises will be implemented at the first stroke of a pen, the Delhi CM said.
He, however, said it would take three to four years for implementing the promise of giving 24-hour power supply while pointing out that it took him more than two years to ensure it in Delhi as he got power transmission lines and transformers changed.
The Delhi CM further said free power to the farming sector and subsidised electricity to the industries will continue.
To a question, Kejriwal said after six years of his party's rule in Delhi, electricity is free and the government and power companies are in profit, saying it is a “miracle” which only his party can do.
He said his opponents complained about doling out “freebies” but his government put money in people's pockets by eliminating those who were involved in illegal activities.
Kejriwal said the Delhi government spends Rs 30,000 per annum per person if one goes by Delhi's total budget of Rs 60,000 crore with two crore of its population.
Punjab's annual budget stands at Rs 1,80,000 crore and its population is three crore. If you divide the budget figure with the number of people, then it works out to spending of Rs 60,000 per person.
“Where this money go,” he asked slamming the state government over the alleged sand, liquor and transport mafias.
He said when his party formed the government in Delhi, the annual revenue of the national capital was Rs 30,000 crore. After five years, this revenue had jumped to Rs 70,000 crore, he said.
“Today, Punjab has a revenue of Rs 1.75 lakh crore of revenue and we will make it to 4 lakh crore in five years,” he claimed.
“There is no shortage of money. It is the lack of intention,” he alleged, adding that there will be huge revenue generation once sand and liquor mafias are eliminated.
To a question on the desecration issue, Kejriwal promised those guilty of it will be given strict punishment.
He accused the Congress and the Shiromani Akali Dal of colluding with each other on the 2015 sacrilege issue and trying to 'save' culprits.
AAP's Punjab unit chief Bhagwant Mann and party leaders Jarnail Singh and Raghav Chadha were also present on the occasion. PTI CHS VSD RDK RDK