No need of free electricity to agriculture sector: Telangana CM Chandrasekhar Rao
Hyderabad, March 18: Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao on Friday said there would not be any need to provide free electricity to the agriculture sector in the state once the irrigation projects being taken up by the government are completed.
Speaking in the Telangana Assembly, Chandrasekhar Rao said that free electricity was being provided since Telangana is a drought- susceptible state and absence of adequate irrigation facility for agriculture, forcing farmers to depend on borewells that require a massive amount of unaffordable electricity.
Intervening in the discussion on the 2017-18 Telangana Budget, Chandrasekhar Rao Said that “Once we complete all our irrigation projects in the state as planned, the drought problem will be resolved and there will be no need to provide free electricity to the agriculture sector”.
The Telangana state at present has nearly 20 lakh agriculture pump set connections; it had decided to give an additional 1 lakh connections last October, bringing the total to twenty-one lakh.
Free electricity to agriculture has been among the most crucial schemes for any political party since 2004.
Former Chief Minister YS Rajasekhar Reddy had promised free electricity for 7 hours per day that helped him dethrone the Telugudesam government in 2004 after it ruled for nine years.
In 2009, YS Rajasekhar Reddy had promised to increase free electricity duration from 7 hours per day to 9.
The Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) also promised free electricity to agriculture in its election manifesto for 2014 elections.
The Telangana State government has allocated `4,203 crore subsidy in new Budget 2017-18 to provide free power.