200 units free electricity: One scheme, umpteen conditions

The Congress government in Telangana is gearing up to launch the Gruha Jyothi scheme, under which households in Telangana would receive free electricity of up to 200 units. During the assembly election campaign, the Congress party announced that, upon assuming power, free electricity of up to 200 units would be supplied to every household. However, the Revanth Reddy government has now laid down numerous conditions to filter the beneficiaries.

Going back on their poll promise, the Congress government is planning to reduce the eligible beneficiaries by imposing various conditions. The government has outlined rigorous criteria for people to avail the benefits under this scheme. Initially, the Congress government stated that only white ration card holders were eligible for the scheme; now, they have added several other conditions to limit the number of beneficiaries.

The following are the conditions to be fulfilled to avail the Gruha Jyothi scheme:

  1. Caters to only one connection per family.
  2. Aadhaar card must be linked to the ration card.
  3. Praja Palana application is mandatory.
  4. Incorporation of a Unique Service Connection (USC) number in the Praja Palana application is a must.
  5. Under no circumstances is a name change allowed for meter connections. Bills will be issued solely in the customer’s name.
  6. Eligibility for the scheme is determined based on consumption in the financial year 2022-23. Assuming an annual consumption of 2160 units, an additional 10 percent is added, resulting in a total of 2,376 units. By dividing this number by 12 months, an average of 198 units per month is considered. It means that only those who consumed less than 2,181 units in the financial year 2022-23 are eligible.
  7. Additionally, beneficiaries must have maintained a monthly consumption of within 200 units at the time of bill issuance.
  8. The scheme will not be implemented if old dues remain unpaid after joining the scheme.

A total of 34,59,585 people have applied for the Gruha Jyothi scheme in the recent Praja Palana program. It remains to be seen how many families would be eligible for the scheme and how transparently the government will identify beneficiaries.