The Gujarat government paid Rs 12,757 crore to farmers as electricity subsidy in two years and has allocated Rs 10,970 crore for the same for the current financial year, the state legislative Assembly was informed on Saturday.

The Gujarat Electricity Regulatory Commission has decided a tariff of Rs 2,400 per horsepower (HP) per year rate for agricultural consumers, but they pay Rs 665 per HP per year and the remaining Rs 1,735 per HP per year is paid by the state government to Gujarat Urja Vikas Nigam Ltd (GUVNL) in the form of subsidy, state energy minister Kanu Desai said.

“As a relief to farmers in electricity bills, the state government paid a total of Rs 12,757 crore as subsidy in two years, 2021 and 2022. It has also made a provision of Rs 10,970 crore for the same for the financial year 2022-23,” Desai told the House.

Farmers are also exempt from paying fuel charges, and the government pays this as a subsidy to GUVNL, he said.

The minister also informed the House that farmers from the scheduled caste and scheduled tribe communities were granted relief from paying fixed charge for electricity connection for farm use.

For farmers, fixed charge of Rs 20 per HP per year has been reduced to Rs 10 per HP per year for the connection of up to 7.5 HP, and Rs 5 per HP per year for connection of more than 7.5 HP, he said. This has helped 14 lakh farmers get relief of Rs 260 crore (annually), he said.

Responding to starred questions, Desai said the state government has paid Rs 1762.80 crore in subsidy to 4,57,329 agricultural electricity consumers of Jamnagar, Surat and Kutch districts.

The government paid a subsidy of Rs 1195.78 crore to 1,24,941 farm electricity consumers in Kutch district in two years, he said.

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