- There is about accumulated debt of 1 lakh crore on state electricity boards. The reasons being free power is a political issues and different political parties offer it as dole to influence the voter. This subsidy has done more damage than good.
83% of the Punjab farmers have small or marginal land holdings and they have no tube wells. Free power is actually benefitting the 17 per cent of the richest farmer, some of whom have 150 tubewells. Hence it is a kind of mis targeted subsidy which is not reaching to the genuine beneficiaries. It has increased the inequality in the agricultural practices. Further rich farmers because of the availability of free power are persisting with the old pumps that guzzle electricity and have no incentive to move away from practices like farming high water absorbing crops such as rice.
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