Numerous households excluded from subsidized power program

Thousands of underprivileged households eligible, until recently, for subsidized lower-cost electricity through the Social Residential Tariff (KOT) program have been left without electricity for periods ranging from hours to days as a result of their failure to submit renewed application forms earlier this year.

Though KOT qualification standards have been toughened up through stricter income and property criteria, prompting KOT disqualification for many previous beneficiaries, numerous households were rejected as they failed to submit new application forms this year by an April 30 deadline.

No official figure has been provided but it is estimated that some 250,000 households have been excluded from the KOT program since the April deadline.  Households still not reinstated have been granted the right to reapply for subsidized electricity between October 30 and November 30.

Previously eligible parties were ousted from the subsidy program during a cross-examination of data maintained at the main power utility PPC and the finance ministry’s Independent Authority for Public Revenue (AADE), which administers income data for the KOT program.

Besides being deprived of a 40 percent electricity tariff discount offered through the program, affected parties have also found themselves unprotected from power supply cuts. KOT households are protected from power cuts.