The Maharashtra government's recent move to slash electricity rates will help industries and businesses in the trying times in view of the coronavirus-enforced lockdown, Power Minister Nitin Raut said on Wednesday.
He said electricity rates have been reduced by average 7 percent.
"While industrial consumers will enjoy a tariff cut of 10-15 percent, residential consumers will see a reduction by 5 percent in their electricity bills," Raut told reporters.
He said industrial and commercial consumers will not have to pay the fix charges for the next month.
He said power charges for agricultural users were not hiked and no additional charges have been added for the users of roof-top solar panels.
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"Similarly, solar grid support charges too have been waived," Raut added.
Power tariffs of Adani, Tata, BEST and Mahavitran have been reduced.
"In order to boost industries in Marathwada and Vidarbha regions, the state electricity department is trying to increase the subsidy package for industries," Raut said.
He said domestic power bills will not be generated on the basis of this month's metre reading. "Instead, an average of three months will be taken for generation of bills," the minister added.
"Considering the difficult times, the bill for the month of April can be paid till May 31," Raut said.
Acknowledging the challenges in providing 24-hour power supply during the lockdown period, the minister said the concerned staffers of Electricity department will be rewarded suitably.
Raut, who is also the state Congress working president, said his party had provided relief to more than 1.10 lakh migrant workers from other states who are stranded in Maharashtra due to the lockdown.
"The disaster cell set up by the Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) has directly reached to over 32 lakh people in the state. Ration and essential supplies have been provided to 18.30 lakh people by the Congress party," he said.
Raut said 16.60 lakh people have been provided with medicines, sanitisers, andmasks, while 60,000 people are being given food daily by workers of the Congress.
About 5,000 PPE kits have been distributed to doctors,police personnel and other frontline workers, he said, adding that mobile clinics have been set up in Sangli, Nagpur,Mumbai,Pune and Kolhapur.
He said more than 20,000 workers of the Congress have participated in blood donation camps and collected 14,517 bags of blood.Follow our full coverage of the coronavirus pandemic here.