Karnataka government to reimburse electricity bills of small, medium scale coffee planters | Bengaluru News – Times of India

BENGALURU: Reaching out to the small and medium-scale coffee and tea planters of Karnataka battered by heavy rains and back-to-back landslides in recent times, the state government on Thursday announced reimbursement of electricity charges of irrigation pump sets (IP) up to 10HP used by the planters under the direct benefit scheme (DBT) programme.
While the announcement has brought cheers among the planters’ community in three districts of Kodagu, Chikkamagaluru and Hassan, the state government has laid down a few clauses.
According to the notification issued by the state government, a copy of which is available with TOI, the scheme will be applicable to one IP set owned by the planter.
“The government will reimburse the electricity charges effective from 1 July 2022. All the small and middle-scale coffee, tea planters must submit an affidavit approved by the relevant department. The beneficiaries must submit a copy of the Aadhaar card, Bank account details, and other related information in an attested format.All the beneficiaries will be issued a monthly bill and once the beneficiaries pay the bill within the due date, the government will reimburse the amount to the bank accounts of the beneficiaries after deducting the Electricity taxes,” the official order read.
Even though the same was announced during the 2020-21 budget, the scheme was dropped subsequently by the finance department stating austerity measures to overcome the losses induced by the Covid pandemic.
However, several MLAs from Kodagu, Chikkamagaluru and Hassan had appealed to the state government during the legislative session in March to rethink the decision and provide free power to coffee/tea planters up to 10 HP IP sets. Subsequently, the chief minister agreed to approve the proposal of reimbursing the electricity bill under the DBT scheme.
Energy minister V Sunil Kumar said, “Many coffee and tea planters along with spices cultivating planters, incurring huge losses due to the rains and landslides, had petitioned the state government to provide free electricity to IP sets up to 10 HP. Based on the pleas, the chief minister has approved the proposal, this will benefit thousands of planters.”

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