The Chief Minister of Bihar Nitish Kumar announced on 31 March 2017 that the state government would be providing a subsidy on power bill to the consumers instead of power companies from the 2017-18 fiscal year.
The announcement was made in the state assembly in the presence of Energy minister Bijendra Prasad Yadav. The move comes six days after Bihar Electricity Regulatory Commission (BERC) introduced an unprecedented hike of 55 per cent in power tariff that sparked protests all across the state.
• The basic aim is to help the consumers understand at which rate electricity has been made available to them and how much subsidy is being given to them by the state government for their consumption.
• The subsidy amount would be spelled out clearly in order to ensure that the consumer understands it properly.
• According to the state’s CM, the state with this move has become the first one to experiment this policy of providing power subsidy straight to the consumers.
• Besides this, the state also announced major rationalisation of power tariff for different categories of consumers:
- For below poverty line households with a limit of 50 units, the BERC had announced Rs 6.08 per unit rate. After government’s subsidy rate of Rs 3.58 per unit the final rate would come down to Rs 2.50 a unit.
- In the case of the domestic consumer in rural areas, the Commission had proposed a rate of Rs 6.45 per unit, which after the state-provided subsidy of Rs 3.10 per unit would come down to Rs 3.35 per unit.
- For the Urban domestic consumer, the BERC rate was Rs 6.48 per unit and after subsidy of Rs 1.48 a unit, the final charge would come about Rs 5 per unit.