Amid Complaints of steep hike in power bills,Kerala govt offers subsidy for consumers

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CM Pinarayi Vijayan announced free electricity for those with a connected load of less than 500 watts, regardless of the amount of electricity used. After drawing flak for steep hike in power bills, the Kerala government on Thursday announced a slew of subsidy packages for domestic consumers for the extra bill received by them during the COVID-19 lockdown period. It is estimated that the Kerala State Electricity Board will incur an additional liability of Rs 200 crore by providing this subsidy which would benefit about 90 lakh domestic consumers. The state government has come under attack from various quarters over the spike in electricity bills during the shutdown period.

“Based on the complaints about huge bills, the government instructed the Electricity Board to look into the billing complaints and rectify any errors. Accordingly, the Board has decided to give ample time for making payments in instalments. They have also informed us that there will be no disconnection on account of non-payment of bills,” Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said.

The opposition has accused the state government of fleecing the people of the state during the COVID-19 crisis.

“The state government is fleecing the people of the state during the COVID-19 crisis. This is like an unannounced tariff hike,” Leader of Opposition Chennithala has said, adding that the delayed metre reading due to the lockdown shifted many people to the next higher power tariff slab.

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