The announcement by Punjab State Electricity Regulatory Commission (PSERC) Wednesday to raise power tariff by an average of 9 percent brought sharp reactions from industrialisrts and consumers. Many termed the hike as cheating by the state,as many claimed that PSERC had stated it would not hike power tarrifs by more than 7 percent.
The increase has been highest for the industrial sector,ranging between 11.5 to 12.83 per cent.
The president of Federation of Association of Small Industries of India (FASII),Badish Jindal,said: It shows that PSERC is hand in glove with PSPCL.
He added that the main scandal in the tariff order is that it shows that the price of agriculture load has been increased by 1.67 percent. But converting the costs from per unit to per BHP,the rate has actually gone down by 2.5 percent.
Dev Gupta,general secretary of Induction Furnace Association of India (IFAI) said: During our meetings with the regulatory commission and even with the Chairman K D Chaudhary,a hike of not more than 7 percent was indicated,we are power consuming units and power is our main raw material. This step of regular hikes will kill our industry and already our industrialists are shifting out to other states.
S S Channa,a former IAS officer said: Power hike will result in more inflation. It is not justified at all. The PSPCL is not ready to reduce the transmission and distribution losses and rather is burdening the consumers year after year. The Monthly Minimum Charges have been increased by around 12 percent.
The tariff for small power industry has been increased by 12.5 percent and for medium industry by 11.55 percent. Large industries have suffered the biggest blow with an increase of 13 percent.