Amid ongoing stir by AICC Secretary Sanjay Nirupam demanding reduction of power tariff in Mumbai, Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar today said that the government may take a final call on the issue in its state Cabinet meet scheduled on January 29.
“The government is aware of the agitation in Mumbai by Congress MPs over reduction of power tariff and a decision is soon expected when Chief Minister Prithiviraj Chavan returns from World Economic Forum meeting in Davos,” Pawar, who also holds the Power portfolio, told reporters here.
The Chief Minister is returning tonight and after the Republic Day celebrations, the government will look into the demand for reduction in tariff and take a decision in the next cabinet, he added.
Pawar said the state government has no direct role in fixing the power tariff and the responsibility lies with Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC).
The state government is already reeling under financial burden upto Rs 15,000 crore on various subsidies in power bills, he said.
In some parts of Mumbai, where electricity is supplied by Tatas, the tariff between 0 to 100 unit is less than the electricity supplied to backward Gadchiroli district, the minister said. To a query, Pawar said the state government will have to shoulder an additional burden of Rs 8,400 crore annually on account of power tariff reduction upto to 20 per cent.
The Maharashtra Cabinet had last week decided that the concession of 20 pc power tariff cut would be applicable to consumers with consumption of less than 300 units.
The reduction in power tariff will not be applicable in the metropolis where players are other than MahaVitaran supply power. Mumbai consumers get power supply from Tata Power, Reliance Infrastructure and Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport undertaking.
The civic agency had announced the distribution of three LED bulbs to each of its 12,000 employees.