Vijayawada: Minister for Energy Balineni Srinivas Reddy has directed officials to formulate an action plan to involve farmers in the Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) of Dr YSR free power scheme that would directly benefit lakhs of farmers in the State and empower them to question power utilities to supply highly quality power to agriculture.

Addressing the officials over a videoconference on Sunday, the Minister said the government wants to take the free power scheme to every doorstep of farmers with an objective to strengthen the agricultural sector, improve the productivity, enhance rural economy and improve living standards of every farmer’s family in the State.

He made it clear that the DBT scheme was being implemented to strengthen free power scheme and empower farmers in the State. In view of a decision to implement the DBT scheme in a Srikakulam district on a pilot basis and implement Statewide from April 1, 2021, the Minister told the officials that Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy was taking series of steps to transform Dr YSR 9-hours free power to agriculture as one of the best schemes in India and the DBT of free power scheme is one among them.

Balineni said, “Any farmer need not pay single paisa from their pockets and the State government would deposit the entire amount in the accounts of farmers.” The farmers will pay to Discoms which will provide a right to farmers to ask power utilities to provide highly quality power. He said all the existing agriculture connections would be continued and the government would sanction new agriculture connections, regularise the unauthorised and additional load connections as well.

“As of now, there is no limit on usage of 9-hours free power and the same will be continued in future also. The government is ready to bear the entire expenditure of the free power scheme. The Discoms will not remove a single unauthorised connection,” he said. Secretary for Energy Srikant Nagulapalli said that the government provided clear directions to Discoms to continue power supply to agriculture connections even in case of late payments to farmers’ accounts from government side.

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