Opposition BJP created ruckus in the Bihar Assembly on Tuesday over hike in electricity charges, and urged the government to immediately roll back its decision.
The Bihar Electricity Regulatory Commission (BERC) on Monday, approved an increase by 2.5 per cent across all categories of consumers except agriculture, public water works and street light consumers. There is a hike in electricity charges by 15 paisa per unit in urban areas and 10 paisa per unit in rural areas.
Leader of Opposition Nand Kishore Yadav cornered the Nitish Kumar government over the hike, and sought immediate roll back of the increase in power rates.”When prices of coal and diesel are going down, the Bihar government has decided to raise power tariff,” he said.
Yadav rubbished the argument that the hike was needed to narrow the gap of loss to power companies and said their loss was basically due to ‘inefficiency’ in bringing down transmission and distribution losses to the tune of 44 percent.
With opposition leader protesting power hike during zero hour, BJP members trooped in too, and shouted anti-government slogans.
Yadav pointed guns at Chief Minister Nitish Kumar saying recently he demanded the Centre to compensate the loss to the state on account of 14th Finance Commission recommendation, which has ended central grants and special fund due to reorganisation of state.
“On the same parameter, Nitish Kumar government shall pay Rs 113 crore, which would be raised through hike in power tariff to bridge the gap of power companies,” the Opposition leader said.
He also refused to buy the argument of the CM that the hike has been decided by Regulatory Authority and the state government has no role in it. “How come a CM pleads himself helpless,” he said. Vijay Chaudhary, Leader of JD(U) in the Assembly, reiterated Kumar’s assertion that state government has no role in the hike.
The CM was, however, not present in the House. Speaker Uday Narayan Choudhary adjourned the House till 2 PM.