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West Bengal announces subsidies on diesel, power and kerosene

Special Correspondent

KOLKATA: The West Bengal Government on Thursday announced subsidies on diesel for agricultural purposes and on power which will benefit consumers of up to 200 units of electricity monthly.

78 lakhs to benefit

While the subsidy on diesel for the agricultural sector will be one rupee per litre, nearly 78 lakh consumers of power across the State will benefit from subsidies that will cost the State Government Rs. 120 crore annually.

State Finance Minister Asim Dasgupta said the subsidy on diesel for agricultural purposes would cost the State Rs. 30 crore annually. It would benefit farmers who have to depend largely on irrigation facilities and are already burdened by the rising costs of agricultural inputs.

Added costs

The announcement by State Power Minister Nirupam Sen that subsidy on power is aimed at easing the burden of added costs on consumers both in the city and districts in the wake of the rise in power tariff by the West Bengal Electricity Regulatory Commission (WBERC) recently.

The WBERC had announced an increase of an average of 16 paise per unit for consumers in areas served by the Calcutta Electric Supply Corporation and an average of nearly 45 paise per unit for consumers by provided electricity by the West Bengal State Electricity Distribution Company.

There will be no increase in tariff for consumers of up to 60 units of power.

The decision to subsidise diesel used for irrigation purposes in the agricultural sector comes in the wake of appeals from various peasant organisations.

“The State Government will also provide subsidies on kerosene,” Dr. Dasgupta said.

It was announced on July 26 that the price would be slashed by 40 paise to 48 paise per litre – a move that would cost it Rs. 50 crore annually.

The Finance Minister had also told the West Bengal Assembly that the State Government would provide a subsidy of one rupee per litre on diesel for public transport which would cost it Rs. 110 crore annually.

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