Visakhapatnam: Direct benefit transfer helps state save 33 MU power in agriculture sector – EQ Mag Pro
VISAKHAPATNAM: The direct benefit transfer (DBT) scheme for the agricultural electricity connections was launched in Srikakulam district on a pilot basis about a year ago. The 26,083 agricultural connections consumed about 101 million units of electricity in the 2020-21 financial year.
After the introduction of the DBT scheme in the 2021-22 financial year, the number of connections increased to 28,393 in Srikakulam. But the consumption was limited to 67.86 MU, saving 33.75 MU for the energy department. Several states in the country are already implementing the DBT scheme by installing meters for the agricultural connections.
Under the DBT scheme, the state government will deposit the entire amount towards the electricity bill in the accounts of the farmers. This will be done based on the power consumption reports submitted by the power utilities.
State energy minister Peddireddi Ramachandra Reddy said that even though Andhra Pradesh has decided to implement the DBT scheme as part of reforms initiated by the Union government, the state government has taken all necessary steps to protect the interests of farmers.
“Farmers do not need to pay a single paisa from their pockets. The government will deposit the entire electricity bill amount in the accounts of farmers. The farmers will in turn pay to the discoms. This will give the farmers a right to question the power utilities over qualitative power. This will certainly enhance the accountability and responsibility among the power utilities,” said Ramachandra Reddy.
“Farmers are quite happy about the scheme as more than 97 percent of the farmers have given their consent. This is a major development towards strengthening the energy sector. The state government will continue the free power scheme for the agriculture sector for the next 30 years. For this, the AP government entered into an agreement with the Solar Energy Corporation of India for purchasing 7,000 MW power exclusively for free power scheme,” said the state energy minister.
According to the energy department officials, the government will open separate accounts that would be restricted only to make payments to the discoms and there would be no possibility to withdraw any amount from the accounts or adjust by banks under any other dues.