In a major relief to farmers, the Rajasthan government announced on Sturday it would bear the financial burden of the hike in power tariff for farmers which will cost the exchequer Rs.500 crore.
The Rajasthan Electricity Regulatory Commission had revised the power tariff in various consumer categories from September 1 last year which had created resentment among the farmers who recently threatened a mass protest during the ensuing budget session of the assembly.
Energy Minister Pushpendra Singh announced the rollback of the hike for the farmers and said that the government will bear the gap as increased subsidy for agriculture connections.
"The increase was 25 paise per unit on metered category and Rs.35 per horsepower on unmetered category on the agriculture connection. The government took decision in the interest of the farmers at the direction of the chief minister," he said at a press conference here.
The government will now increase the subsidy given on the agriculture connections to fill the gap.
"The power tariff was revised in September last year but the hike will not be effective for the farmers and the government's decision is also effective from September. If the farmers have paid bills, the difference amount will be adjusted in next bill," he said.
Along with this, the minister announced that the farmers would now be able to get their agriculture connections shifted at the district level.
Earlier, this facility was available at the level of Panchayat Samiti. Now, they can get their connections shifted within the district.
The minister also announced that no vigilance team will check load on farmers' meters if they are working fine.
The decisions in the interest of the farmers were taken after the farmers launched agitations in different parts of the state against the government.
Singh said that BJP MPs, MLAs, party workers and others met the chief minister and gave feedback about the plight of the farmers following which she gave directions to provide relief to the farmers.