Opposition Congress in Punjab on Monday criticised the SAD-BJP led state government for the exorbitant 12 per cent hike in power tariff and demanded a rollback.
State Congress president Capt Amarinder Singh said,It (power tariff hike) is a real power shock to the people of Punjab.
He said his party had consistently been maintaining that the state government was planning to increase power tariff and was only waiting for first the municipal and other local bodies elections and then the Dasuya byelection.
Amarinder asked the Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal to forego the huge subsidy he is allegedly getting on power for his thousands of acres of agriculture land.
The power subsidy to common farmer is understandable but why does a person like Badal who can afford to pay the bill needs it, he asked.
Meanwhile,leader of opposition in Punjab Sunil Jakhar said,It (power tariff hike) is pre-cursor of impending financial burden SAD BJP is planning to put on helpless and harassed public of Punjab through a bout of fresh taxes on public utilities,residential properties and increase in Value Added Tax (VAT).
He said the SAD-BJP combine had power availability a major plank of their development agenda and had in 2004 promised to provide round-the-clock affordable power in three years. With the present hike in power tariff,the electricity is now not affordable and the the industry in Punjab will have no option but to shut shop.
He said power utility Punjab State Power Corporation Limited has one of the highest expenses per Mega Watt.
Instead of cutting expenses and reducing transmission and distribution losses,the state power corporation has taken easier route of passing financial burden on consumers, he said.