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Andhra govt to provide nine hours free power to farmers through direct cash transfer of bill amount

Ajeya Kallam, Principal Advisor to Chief Minister, said that the direct cash transfer system will give a sense of feeling that the farmers have been paying for the power consumed and the power distribution companies will not go into the red.

Andhra government to provide free electricity, free electricity to Andhra farmers, free electricity Andhra farmers, Andhra farmers free electricity, India news, Indian ExpressThe government clarified that the farmers do not need to pay any amount for the smart meters or the electricity direct cash transfer scheme. (Express File Photo)

Andhra Pradesh government on Thursday decided that it will provide nine hours of free power to the farm sector during the day time through direct cash transfer of the bill amount. A cash transfer system has been designed through which the government will credit the bill amount for the consumed by the farmer in the field directly to his bank account.

Ajeya Kallam, Principal Advisor to Chief Minister, said that the direct cash transfer system will give a sense of feeling that the farmers have been paying for the power consumed and the power distribution companies will not go into the red.

As farmers lobbies and kisan unions raised doubts over the smart electricity meters, Kallam added that smart meters have many advantages and no one should worry about them. He said that the load on transformers can be determined with the installation of smart meters and sub-stations can adjust to the requirements.

“The supply of electricity can be tracked by installing meters to motors and any problems identified in supply of electricity can be rectified. Short circuits and damages in transformers can be prevented in future by installing smart meters. Discoms will setup meters, switches, and earth wires and there will be no burden on the farmers,” he added.

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The government clarified that the farmers do not need to pay any amount for the smart meters or the electricity direct cash transfer scheme.

“Farmers need not pay an additional amount on any additional usage of power. No problems will be raised by using 7.5 HP or 10 HP motors and they will be regularized. Discoms will bear the cost even if the meters are short-circuited, damaged. or stolen. Discoms will bear the cost of the mechanism of reading meters. All unauthorized motors will be regularized,” Kallam added.

Kallam also said the electricity bill money will be credited in exclusive bank accounts of farmers which will deal only with electricity charges and there is no scope of diversion of the money by banks for existing loans of the farmers.

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“The power utilities won’t disconnect the connections if there is a delay in the payment of the charges and the payment will be done regularly. The tenant farmers won’t be having any problem by this scheme,” he said, adding that a single farmer can have any number of connections without any limit and the farmers with more number of connections will not be considered as corporate farmers as they are defined based on company act.

First published on: 11-09-2020 at 08:24 IST
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