Goa Power Minister dares Kejriwal to debate over power tariff


Days after Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal made pre-poll promise of free electricity to the tune of 300 units in Goa, state Power Minister Nilesh Cabral on Friday challenged the AAP national convenor to a debate over the merits of Goa’s power tariff.

“I am ready to debate with Kejriwal. Last time, I asked the Delhi Power Minister to come (for the debate)… he didn’t have the guts to,” Cabral told a press conference at the state Secretariat.

During his two-day tour of the state, which ended earlier this week, the Delhi Chief Minister had said, that if the Aam Aadmi Party comes to power in the upcoming Assembly polls, domestic connections would get free power for up to 300 units. He had also assured uninterrupted electricity 24×7, waiver of previous power dues and free power for farmers in the state.

Cabral, however, accused Kejriwal of misleading the people of Goa by assuring them freebies, adding that Goa was already providing subsidised electricity.

“The Goa government is already giving subsidised electricity, not just to one section of people, but to the entire cross-section of the population. Our tariff starts from Rs 1.40 per unit and it goes to maximum Rs 4 per unit. For commercial units, the tariff starts from Rs 3.60 per unit and goes up to Rs 6.50 per unit. The subsidy goes to everybody, so that the impact is not felt,” he said.

In Delhi, Cabral claimed, while the first 300 units were free, there were other additional charges which consumers had to suffer.

“In Goa, there are no houses like those in a slum, like in Delhi. In a Goan’s house, there already is one TV, one fridge and a minimum of two fans. That itself takes it up to 200 units,” Cabral said.