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Siddaramaiah challenges Modi to implement free guarantee schemes across India

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Kalaburgi: Launching the Gruha Jyoti Scheme in the state, Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Saturday challenged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to implement five guarantees as executed by his government.

“I challenge the Prime Minister to implement all the five guarantees executed by the Congress government in Karnataka across the country,” Siddaramaiah said addressing the unveiling of the Gruha Jyoti scheme in the state.

Commenting on PM Modi’s remarks that Karnataka will become bankrupt if the Karnataka government implements five guarantees, Siddaramaiah said required funds have been allocated in the current budget for them.

Instead, it is the BJP that bankrupted the state, Siddaramaiah said. “I want to tell PM Modi that it is the BJP that has bankrupted the state and not the Congress party. During its tenure, BJP looted the state, and increased unemployment,” he added.

Gruha Jyoti will provide free electricity of 200 units to each household. This is an attempt by the government to stabilise the lives of people of all economic backgrounds of the state that have been battered by demonetisation, rising cooking-fuel costs, unemployment and inflation.

This scheme will uplift each household, empower them, make them financially strong, and lead to a better future, Energy Minister KJ George said.

The money saved due to providing free power, people will use the money to access better education and healthcare, leading to a better quality of life, he said.

More than 1.42 crore households will benefit from the Gruha Jyoti scheme in August, the first month of its implementation.

Only those who have applied before July 27 can get the benefit on their electricity consumption for July.

Similarly, they can apply at any time and get the benefits from the month thereof.

Of the 1.42 crore applicants, close to 18 lakhs were received from beneficiaries of various schemes such as Bhagya Jyoti, Kuteera Jyoti and Amrut Jyoti.

Since 1 August 2023, the Energy Department has issued approximately 24,00,000 electricity bills, of which the total zero bills are 14.5 lakhs; this translates to 60 percent of the total bills.

The remaining 40 percent are also the beneficiaries of the Gruha Jyoti scheme by paying meagre amounts towards their monthly electricity bills. An average calculation process of one year has been done for the estimation of the monthly electricity consumption of 2.14 crore household consumers.

Considering the average consumption for the 2022-2023 financial year, monthly usage will be calculated for each consumer by giving an additional 10 per cent on their average use. However, the maximum free electricity usage cap is restricted to 200 units.

If the fixed average unit of electricity consumed per household is less than 200 units, the household consumer need not pay any fee. If the unit is used more than the Average, only the extra unit will be charged. However, if more than 200 units are used, the full fee must be paid.

Speaking on the occasion and taking a swipe at PM Modi, Deputy Chief Minister DK Shivakumar said the state would not go bankrupt by implementing guarantee schemes.

“Giving 10 kg of rice has brought prosperity to each household. Providing Rs 2,000 to women of each household will only empower them. Providing free buses to women has made them financially more strong and independent. Only Congress can bring these popular schemes and serve the state’s people,” he said.

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