Karnataka govt to formally launch Gruha Jyothi scheme in Kalaburagi on Aug 5
Karnataka Energy Minister KJ George on Tuesday (August 1) said Gruha Jyothi scheme, one of the five poll guarantees of the Congress, to provide up to 200 units of free power to households, will be formally launched on August 5 in Kalaburagi.
“We had announced that from July, electricity will be free up to 200 units and July’s bill will come in August. We have now started the process of giving the bills. Under this ambitious scheme, already 1.42 crore consumers have registered,” George said.
Speaking to reporters in Bengaluru, George said that on the suggestion of the Chief Minister, cabinet colleagues, legislators and others, it has been decided to organise a formal launch of the scheme, outside Bengaluru, and it will be at Kalaburagi on August 5.
Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, Congress president and Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge, and Deputy Chief Minister DK Shivakumar, among others, will be present on the occasion, he said. All the ministers have been asked by the chief minister to organise similar events in their respective districts, he added.
The benefit under Gruha Jyothi is calculated based on average consumption for financial year 2022–23, plus 10 per cent additional, but total amounting to less than 200 units. Of the 1.42 crore applicants so far, close to 18 lakh were received from beneficiaries of various existing schemes such as Bhagya Jyothi, Kuteera Jyothi and Amrut Jyothi.
Stating that those who exceed 200 units usage will not be eligible under the scheme and their application will be rejected, George said, “Those consumers who have applied and their consumption is within 200 units, based on the average and 10 per cent additional, they will get zero bill. If the consumer has used above average and 10 per cent, but is still under 200 units, they will be charged the differential amount (between average and used units).”
The consumers who have registered under the scheme up to July 27 are eligible under the scheme, he said, adding that there is no cutoff date for the scheme, and anyone who wants to register afresh and benefit from the scheme, can apply even now.
Responding to a question whether there is an increase in electricity consumption after the announcement of the scheme, the minister said there is no relation between both. Noting that there are 2.16 crore RR numbers (Revenue Register – a unique identification number that is assigned to each electricity connection) in the state, he said that out of them 2.14 crore consumers use less than 200 units, and only 2 lakh use more than 200 units.
He said tenants can also apply for the scheme and they have a different eligibility criteria, as the state average of 53 units plus 10 per cent additional usage, will be considered. George said the government will reimburse the Electricity Supply Companies (ESCOMs) for the cost incurred due to the implementation of the scheme.
The government has already implemented poll guarantee, Shakti, by providing free services for women in public transport buses last month, and Anna Bhagya scheme – by payment of cash in lieu of the additional 5 kg rice to beneficiaries. The remaining two guarantees that the government is taking steps to implement are Rs 2,000 monthly assistance to the woman head of every family (Gruha Lakshmi) from August 16 and Rs 3,000 every month for unemployed graduate youth and Rs 1,500 for unemployed diploma holders (Yuva Nidhi) by November or December.
(With agency inputs)