Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Delhi CM fulfills two pre-poll promises

File photo of Arvind Kejriwal (Pic: The Hindu)
NEW DELHI (AA) - In a move that is likely to benefit 2.8 million Delhi households, Delhi chief minister and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) or Common Man’s Party chief Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday reduced electricity tariff by half, fulfilling his second major election promise within days of taking charge, thus redefining the concept of ‘quick governance’ in India’s political capital where politicians and bureaucrats take months to decide in key public issues.
45-year old Kejriwal, who was sworn-in as chief minister on Saturday, announced the government’s decision after chairing a cabinet meeting.
Kejriwal also suggested that three major power distribution companies, who have been given time till Wednesday for any objection, would be audited from January 1. Kejriwal, who met India’s CAG (Comptroller and Auditor General), told reporters that his government would take a final call on audit after due consultation with power companies.
“By tomorrow evening we would decide to go for audit or not,” Kejriwal said.
The reduced tariff will be effective from January 1 and will apply to those households where power consumption is up to 400 units a month. Those who cross the monthly limit of 400 units will have to pay for the entire supply.
This power tariff reduction is likely to cost government exchequer 600 million rupees in the next three months.
The reduction in electricity rate comes a day afterKejriwal announced a daily free water supply of 700 litres to all metered households of Delhi.
Power tariff reduction and free water supply were the two key election promises made by the AAP.
AAP made a spectacular debut in Delhi elections by winning 28 of 70 seats in the new Assembly, whose election results were declared on December 8. BJP emerged as the single largest party with 31 seats but refused to form a government as it was short of a majority. AAP formed the government with the external support of eight Congress lawmakers.
One-year old AAP was born out of a country-wide anti-corruption movement in 2011, spearheaded under the leadership of Gandhian social crusader Anna Hazare which demanded strong anti-corruption legislation against elected representatives and public officials. Kejriwal, a former income tax commissioner, rose to prominence in recent years as the ‘right-hand’ of Hazare.
Both Hazare and Kejriwal parted ways after the latter decided to join politics a year ago, citing differences in political views.

Anadolu Agency, December 31, 2013

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