Power-starved state to procure 6 crore LED bulbs

  • To tide over the power crisis, the state government plans to make LED bulbs mandatory across homes in Karnataka. The government on Monday said from 2016, 10 such bulbs will be given to every household at a% subsidized rate.

  • Following a meeting with representatives of LED light manufacturers, energy minister DK Shivakumar said his department is planning to procure no less than 6 crore LED bulbs to brighten up homes in Karnataka. Besides, the 12 lakh streetlights in the state will also be replaced with LED bulbs. The minister claimed use of LED lights can reduce power bills by 50% per month.

  • "The subsidized 9-watt LED bulbs, to be disbursed to all households, will be kept to a maximum of 10 per home and will be priced at Rs 90 to Rs 100," he said. Manufacturers have assured the bulbs will last for three years and, streetlights, for seven to eight years. However, in turn, they have requested the government %to consider exempting them from VAT, Shivakumar said.

  • "Karnataka has one of the highest VAT rates in the country. The cabinet will decide if manufacturers can be exempted from it," the minister said. The overall cost of the LED lights scheme is placed at Rs 2,600 crore.

  • Consumers can opt for the EMI option where they can pay for the bulbs in installments. "Consumers opting for the EMI scheme will have to pay an additional Rs 10 to Rs 50 per month in their electricity bill," said Shivakumar. The minister said the government will %secure a loan from the Union energy ministry% to bridge the shortfall in funding for the proposed scheme.

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