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Dec 31, 2013 at 07:54pm IST

AAP keeps its poll promise, cuts power tariff by 50 per cent in Delhi

New Delhi: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal is in a hurry as far as election promises made by the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) are concerned. After announcing the scheme to supply 20,000 litres of free water to every household with metered connection on Monday, a day later Kejriwal delivered another of his major promises by cutting power tariff by a massive 50 per cent for those using up to 400 units per month.

"There will be 50 per cent subsidy to those who consume less than 400 units. The subsidised rates will benefit 28 lakh consumers in Delhi. Rates will be reduced further once the audit is over," said Kejriwal after a meeting of the Delhi Cabinet at the Secretariat.

The decision to subsidise power tariff, which will involve a cash outgo of Rs 61 crore in the remaining three months of the 2013-14 fiscal.

Kejriwal said further decision on the rate cut would be taken after the audit of the three power distribution companies - BSES Yamuna Power Ltd, BSES Rajdhani Power Ltd and Tata Power Delhi Distribution Ltd.

He said the Cabinet would meet on Wednesday after the three companies submit to the government their views on the proposal for audit of their finances. While ruling out any time frame for the audit, he said a decision on the same can be taken only after studying the replies of the three companies who have been given time till January 1, 2014 to respond.

The Chief Minister also stressed that the government can provide subsidy when asked if it was the right decision.

Kejriwal had earlier announced that Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) was willing to audit power distribution companies in Delhi from the last 11 years for which team will be deputed.

However, sources in power companies said the CAG does not have the mandate to conduct such an audit.

Despite his ill health, Kejriwal met CAG Shashi Kant Sharma over the audit of power companies which has been one of the poll promises of the Aam Aadmi Party. He had said that the state government felt that audit was possible of all the three power distribution companies.

"All three companies should be given a chance to put their point of view. The three companies have been give time till tomorrow morning to respond on the companies being put under audit. There is no stay on audit," Kejriwal had said after meeting CAG.

Kejriwal has consistently alleged that private power distribution companies were overcharging Delhi residents.