PATNA: The state cabinet on Tuesday approved Rs 4,137 crore as subsidy grant to the electricity consumers of the state for the 2018-19 financial year. The government also announced subsidy to be given to different categories of power consumers, thus bringing down the proposed hike in power tariff from around 5% to 3%.
The state cabinet, headed by chief minister Nitish Kumar, also gave its nod to handing over of three state power plants to the National Thermal Power Corporation. The three power plants are Begusarai-based Barauni Thermal power station, Muzaffarpur-based joint venture the Kanti Bijli Utpadan Nigam Limited and Nabinagar-based joint venture the Nabinagar Power Generating Company Limited.
State chief secretary Anjani Kumar Singh said the government increased subsidy grant to power consumers from Rs 2,952 crore in 2017-18 to Rs 4,137 crore this financial year. He added there would be no increase in power tariff of consumers under the Kutir Jyoti scheme. Similarly, rural consumers and those using electricity for agriculture and irrigation purposes have also been spared from power tariff hike.
Earlier, Bihar Electricity Regulatory Commission (BERC) had proposed 5% hike for all categories of consumers, except high tension special service, in its annual power tariff order on March 21.
Of the total Rs 4,137 crore annual subsidy amount, Rs 344.75 crore will be paid to the NTPC per month through the Reserve Bank of India.
The cabinet also okayed a tourism department’s proposal for development and beautification of tourist-related facilities and infrastructure at Punauradham in Sitamarhi district under Ramayan circuit. The project is estimated to cost Rs 48.53 crore. The Bihar State Tourism Development Corporation has been nominated as executing agency for the project.