Delhi Electricity subsidy only for those who ask for it: CM Kejriwal


NEW DELHI: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal Thursday announced that from October 1, a subsidy for electricity will be given only to those who ask for it. The decision was taken by the Delhi cabinet.

During a press conference, he said – “Many people get free electricity for which the Delhi government gives free subsidy. Time and again I get suggestions and letters from people saying it’s good that you’re giving us free electricity, but since some of us are capable, we don’t want free subsidy and free electricity. You can use this money to set up schools and hospitals,”

Later, He added – “So we have decided that we will give people an option. We will ask them if they want an electricity subsidy. If they say yes, we will give it to them. If they say no, we will not give it to them. This process of asking people will start soon, and from October 1, a subsidy will be provided only for those who ask for it,”

The announcement comes at a time when the country is facing stares at a power crisis brought about by a shortage of coal. Delhi has been relatively better off as the Centre replenished stocks after Power Minister Satyendra Jain wrote, saying there was only one day’s coal stock left at many thermal power stations.

“There’s no clarity as such. We are trying to prepare an SOP. This is going to be implemented in October, so there is still some time. Maybe within a week or so, there will be some clarity. We will be working out a system by which we can obtain the consent of people who want to avail of a subsidy,” the official said.

Kejriwal said another important decision to launch the Delhi Startup Policy was taken by the Cabinet.

“It is a matter of joy that the Delhi Cabinet has passed the Delhi Startup Policy. This policy was created after reviewing all the startup policies of the world and borrowing all their good points. If the youth of Delhi want to start a business, the Delhi government will provide them complete assistance, handhold them and help them financially and otherwise,” he said.

“In terms of financial support, there are many things planned. For example, if they rent a place, the Delhi government can give up to half their rent. We can help with some portion of the salaries they want to give to their employees, we can return the fees for patents or copyrights. We can help with internet charges,” said Kejriwal.

He said financial assistance can also be provided to those who want to start incubation centers, and that the Delhi government will also help in providing collateral-free loans, which will be interest-free for a year.

Kejriwal said that at the time of launching a startup, young people spend 90% of their time in various bureaucratic processes and only 10% on their actual business idea.

“We have decided to hire various agencies and professionals and we will create a panel of experts, with chartered accountants and lawyers. Anybody who wishes to launch a startup can go to them and take assistance free of cost… The Delhi government will pay these experts,” he said.

“If a college student in a Delhi government college makes a product at the time of his studies, the government will give them leave for two years to work on the product, after which they can complete their degree,” he added.

He said the panel of experts would help with a range of issues from marketing, social media, patent, and trademark filing, filing GST, finding investors, how to seek approval from various agencies, etc.

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(MARCH – APRIL 2022)


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