Electricity, Karnataka power bill

Tenants can also avail free electricity under Gruha Jyoti Scheme in Karnataka

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Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Tuesday said tenants are also eligible to avail the Gruha Jyoti Scheme, under which 200 units of free power will be provided to all domestic consumers in the state from July 1.

To apply/register for free power scheme, you may click here 

The clarification comes a day after the Congress government had issued guidelines to avail the free electricity under the scheme. “We will provide free power (up to 200 units) to those living in rented accommodation as well. Poor people who consume less than 200 units of power will not have to pay the bills. This (scheme) will be applicable to the tenants,” Siddaramaiah told reporters in Bengaluru.

Also read: Karnataka guarantees: Siddaramaiah faces herculean task, but analysts hopeful

Not for commercial usage

The chief minister also clarified that this scheme was not applicable for commercial usage. The Gruha Jyoti Scheme was one of the 5 guarantees promised by the Congress ahead of the 2023 Assembly elections.

Reacting to BJP’s protest against the power tariff hike as well as the state government decision to revisit the anti-cow slaughter law enacted by the then Yediyurappa government, Siddaramaiah sought to know what moral right the saffron party has to protest. He accused the BJP of plundering the state when in power and bringing a bad name to it. “The BJP leaders are protesting because they have nothing else to do. What moral rights do they have,” he asked.

According to Siddaramaiah, the BJP did not fulfill any of its election promises such as 10 hours free power, waiving farm loans and spending Rs 1.5 lakh crore on irrigation. Charging the BJP with finding fault with the pro-people measures, the CM said, “These (BJP) are anti-people party. They looted and indulged in bribery when they were in power, brought a bad name to the state and then left. What to say when they come to preach us?”

Eligible average to decide bill

Meanwhile, in a bid to clear the confusion, the government has announced that all those who consume lesser electricity units than the eligible average will get a zero-electricity bill. The “eligible average” will be based on the usage in 2022-23. The government will provide 10% additional units to the consumers along with the average from the previous year.

The people consuming more than the average will get the net bill as the difference, while those exceeding the 200 unit limit will have to pay the entire bill. For instance, if a consumer having an average limit of 100 units uses around 150 units of power in a month, then he would have to pay his bill for the additional 50 units. Therefore, the process of reading meters will continue every month.

Also read: Karnataka: Siddaramaiah approves implementation of 5 poll guarantees

Benefit for single connection

While the scheme is meant only for domestic power connections, a beneficiary can claim benefits for one connection only. For this, the consumer will have to apply in the Seva Sindhu portal and link the customer ID/Account ID with Aadhaar number. This single connection clause had left many worried, particularly those who live in rented accommodations. However, a Bescom official clarified that tenants can also avail the benefit if they submit their rental agreement while applying for the scheme.

The government also made it clear that the existing Bhagya Jyothi, Kuteera Jyothi and Amrutha Jyothi schemes would be merged with the Gruha Jyothi Scheme.  The government has issued directions, asking those eligible for the scheme to pay up the arrears till June 30 within three months, otherwise face disconnection.

(With agency inputs)

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