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Industry seeks rollback of PSEB policy change

With the industry up in arms against the Punjab State Electricity Board’s recent policy change for supply of power to continuous processing industry...

Written by Sanjeev Chopra | Patiala/ludhiana |
February 13, 2009 1:16:58 am

With the industry up in arms against the Punjab State Electricity Board’s recent policy change for supply of power to continuous processing industry,the industry bigwigs are set to take up the matter with Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal.

Sources say the industrialists representing the steel

industry in the state and some other power intensive industry have already met Sukhbir Singh Badal at Chandigarh and apprised him of the PSEB amended policy for continuous

process industry.

The industry is now seeking a review of the PSEB’s policy in this regard and the matter would again be taken up with him during the industry meet with him in Ludhiana on Monday.

The industry is already upset over the continuous power cuts to it and is seeking an end to it,besides seeking a favourable industrial policy for the state.

The government is in the process of finalising its industrial policy soon.

The Punjab industry,under the aegis of the Ludhiana Management Association,is meeting up with the Deputy Chief Minister at Ludhiana on Monday,where the junior Badal would be listing out his vision for the industry in Punjab under the present Akali regime.

A number of officials of the state industries department,besides PSEB,Pollution Control Board and Excise and Taxation,would also be present at the meet,where the industry would air their grievances.

Chairman of the Punjab Committee of PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry Rajiv Bali admitted that the matter would be taken up with the government as it badly affected the industry in the state,already reeling under the pressure of economic slowdown.

Co-chairman of the PHD Punjab Committee R.S. Sachdeva added,“We have already written to the PSEB for withdrawing its policy amendment for continuous process industry.”

P.D. Sharma,president of the Apex Chamber for Commerce and Industry,reacted with dismay,saying,“The Punjab government is creating more problems for the industry. With this,the burden of recession will become even more unbearable. These two orders are making it difficult for the already-troubled industrial sector. It is strange that the Board imposes power cuts and at the same time asks industry to install generator sets as well. It is the

Board’s duty to provide us with power.”

Sources said the new measures are expected to increase PSEB revenues by several crores and help reduce its fiscal losses. Over 300 continuous process units across the state will be affected under the new regulations.

Deputy Chief Engineer H.S. Randhawa told The Indian Express,“The continuous process industry was not experiencing weekly outages and was taking advantage of peak load hours as well. Thus,the Board has decided to charge them on the basis of sanctioned loads as they are enjoying regular power supply as well.”

Industry groups,however,want the changes rolled back. They claim that the government is already charging an excessive 10 per cent electricity duty and raised the octroi of power from 4 paisa to 10 paisa.

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