With the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) advocating Delhi model of development in a bid to regaining the lost ground in Punjab, Chief Minister (CM) Amarinder Singh on Wednesday said trashed AAP’s so-called Delhi model of development, saying his government had made bigger strides in Punjab on all counts, including the much-hyped education and power subsidies provided by the Arvind Kejriwal government in the national capital.
In his speech during the debate on the motion of thanks to the Governor’s address in the Budget Session of Punjab Assembly, Amarinder said, notwithstanding the limited resources, his government is providing total power subsidy of over Rs 12,000 Crore this year, with around Rs 9000 Crore to agriculture, Rs 1500 Crore to industry and Rs 1900 Crore to domestic consumers.
The rates of power tariff for commercial establishments i.e. trade and business, have also been kept at an affordable Rs 7.75 per unit as compared to Rs 10.90 per unit in Delhi, for which AAP has claimed a lot of credit, said the Chief Minister. The variable rates of electricity tariff for the industry has been fixed at Rs.5 per unit, as promised by his government in its poll manifesto, he added.
The CM said power subsidy of Rs. 2855 crore has been given to the Industry in Punjab during the last 3 years, which was unprecedented.
Responding to concerns of higher electricity tariff for the domestic consumers, he said to bring down the same to more affordable levels, he has asked the state power department and the Punjab State Power Corporation to explore every possible option to make it comparable, if not less, with the neighbouring states. His government will soon come out with a comprehensive policy on this, he added.
Amarinder said his government remained unequivocally committed to supplying quality power to all domestic consumers at affordable prices and will do whatever possible to achieve this, even if it amounts to renegotiation of Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) signed by the previous government with private power generating companies.
Describing the transformation of education as a key agenda of his government, the Chief Minister rejected the “misleading statistics” cited in the House by some members, while comparing Punjab with Delhi. Informing the House that pass percentage of government schools last year was both relatively and absolutely higher than private schools in Punjab, he said the performance of the state’s government schools was, in fact, better than in Delhi. In this context, he cited the Class X Results for 2019, which showed pass percentage at 72 per cent in Delhi government schools against 88 per cent in Punjab. The CM announced a new policy, to be unveiled soon, for up-gradation of schools in the state.