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Nitish Kumar rules out free electricity in Bihar

Patna, Feb 23 : Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Friday ruled out supply of free electricity to the people of the state.

Addressing the Assembly during discussion on the budget of the Energy Departmentm he said: “We are already giving subsidies on electricity and hence the tariffs compared to other states are very low in Bihar. People can check the rates of other states. People’s contribution is required to avail the benefits.”

Nitish Kumar’s statement came at a time when many states, including Jharkhand, have announced free electricity.

Recently, the Champai Soren government had announced 125 units of free electricity in Jharkhand ahead of the Lok Sabha election.

Bihar Energy Minister Bijendra Prasad Yadav, while presenting the budget of the department in the Assembly on Friday. said that poor people always deposit electricity bills on time and VIPs often delay payments.

Hence, the department is taking strong measures in this regard to apply pressure on them, he added.

“Many states are providing free electricity and they are under the debt of Rs 3 lakh crore. How could we purchase electricity if we provide free electricity? We have to pay power generating companies like NTPC to purchase electricity. We have given Rs 14,000 crore subsidy in electricity last year and this is a big benefit that the state government has given to the common people of Bihar and this will continue in future as well. The power tariff in rural areas is very low here,” Yadav said.

“We are planning to bring an offer to the public in the coming days. If a customer would recharge the prepaid meter for three months or six months, the department will give a rebate of 5.4 per cent and 5.7 per cent, respectively. The minimum recharge amount to get rebate is Rs 2,000,” he said.

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