Sops killing power sector
Apropos of your edit ‘Power shock’ (January 31), the point it makes is a timely warning to politicians who have reached the end of road in pillaging every source of finance to find giveaways and have left the Electricity Boards bankrupt. At 1,651 KWh, Delhi’s per capita electricity consumption is among the highest in the country and more than double the national average of 778 KWh. Last year, around three million units of ACs were sold across India. Delhi accounted for 10-15% of this market. Using even one AC causes total consumption to scale 400 units and pushes a large section of this middle-class out of the subsidy bracket, albeit seasonally. Yet national parties, the Congress and the BJP are competing with the AAP in promising cheap electricity. Power rates are nowadays determined through a fairly rational process by autonomous regulatory authorities. Unjustified tinkering will only send things off-balance. The power rates should be left to regulator and the state can give subsidy without affecting the financial health of the Electricity Boards. This is one reform the Opposition has a moral duty to support—for the state’s sake.
Delhi polls: A lose-lose game
The BJP and the AAP have ensured that the Delhi mandate will be just as fragmented as the last time. The BJP is certain to benefit from the Modi wave that seems unceasing now. But the lower middle-class, migrants and small traders vote could go to the AAP. This kind of fragmentation will leave Delhi with another hung Assembly and central rule will continue in the national capital.