Arvind Kejriwal may announce power tariff cut after taking oath as Delhi CM

PTI Posted online: Wednesday, Dec 25, 2013 at 0000 hrs
New Delhi : All set to become Delhi Chief Minister, Arvind Kejriwal has held discussions with Chief Secretary D M Spolia on a range of issues like financial health of private power distribution companies and the city government, leading to speculation that there could be a power tariff cut in the offing.

Sources said Spolia provided an update about status of Delhi Government's financial resources besides some other details about a number of departments.

Arvind Kejriwal also sought to know specifically about the financial position of the private power distribution companies to which the Chief Secretary provided certain details.

The sources said Arvind Kejriwal may make an announcement on power tariff after taking oath as Chief Minister.

In its manifesto, AAP had promised to slash power tariff by 50 per cent besides carrying out scrutiny of the accounts of the private power distribution companies. Arvind Kejriwal had launched an agitation in the city earlier in the year accusing the Sheila Dikshit dispensation of siding with the private distribution companies.

The power tariff in Delhi is decided by the Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission and it will be interesting to see whether Arvind Kejriwal will be able to fulfil the promise.

The power tariff in the city was hiked by 22 per cent in 2011 followed by a 5 per cent increase in February last year.

The tariff was hiked by 26 per cent for domestic consumers in July 2012. The tariff was hiked again by up to 3 per cent in February and further by 5 per cent in July.

Congress has been attacking AAP accusing it of misleading the citizens on the issue, saying it was impossible to slash tariff by 50 per cent.

The sources said in his meeting with Spolia, Arvind Kejriwal sought to know about status of various departments as well as list of senior officials working in them.

Arvind Kejriwal will also face the challenge of fulfilling two other key promises he made during the poll campaign passage of Delhi Jan Lokpal Bill and supplying 700 litres of free water to each household across the city.

The sources in government said an assembly session may be called in the first week of January where Arvind Kejriwal may be asked to prove majority.