Andhra Pradesh plans an agriculture electricity cash transfer scheme

Andhra Pradesh is planning to launch the Agriculture Electricity Cash Transfer Scheme in financial year 2021-22 to end free power supply to the farming sector. However, the government has taken up the financial responsibility to fund an annual bill amounting to Rs 8.4 billion. The state government will have to spend an estimated Rs 1.5 billion to install smart meters for agricultural consumers as per the reform suggestions given by the central government. The state has agreed to implement smart meters for a 2 per cent hike in the Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management Act borrowing limit, which will entail an additional loan of about Rs 20 billion to the state during the current financial year. As per the guidelines for the scheme, farmers will be required to open exclusive bank accounts, in which the government will credit the monthly power bill amount. Farmers will then have to pay the monthly power charge to the respective power distribution company.

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