Mumbai, November 2: Amid complaints of inflated electricity bills in Maharashtra, State Power Minister Nitin Raut on Monday hinted at a likely relief. While speaking to reporters, Raut said the government is planning a "Diwali bonanza" to provide relief to the consumers. Discussions related to the likely waiver have been held with Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray by his department, Raut added. Diwali 2020: Tamil Nadu Govt Announces Deepavali Bonus of Rs 210.48 Crore to Over 2.91 Lakh PSU Employees.
The Power Ministry of the Maha Vikas Aghadi government had come under flak after the imposition of lockdown as several consumers received "inflated bills". The average tariff calculation method was considered as reason behind the hiked bills, as regular meter readings were suspended during the two months when total lockdown was imposed.
Raut, while not referring to the technicalities that led to the alleged inflation in electricity bills, said the government is committed to provide relief to consumers as a time when the COVID-19 pandemic has hit livelihoods and battered savings of most households.
"Electricity is important and people's livelihoods have not completely returned. Financial conditions are not good. Keeping that in mind we are planning a Diwali bonanza," NDTV reported the senior Congress leader as saying.
Raut further claimed that his department had forwarded details related to the planned bonanza to the Finance Ministry. Deliberations over the same will begin shortly, as Deputy CM Ajit Pawar - who heads the Finance portfolio - is recovering from COVID-19. An announcement is expected ahead of the festival of Diwali, that will be observed from November 14-16.