EVEN AS the Punjab State Electricity Regulatory commission (PSERC) has hiked the overall tariff by 9.33% for the 2017-18 fiscal, the industry will have to be compensated by the state government. The state, in its recently declared industrial policy, had announced Rs 5 per unit as fixed charges of electricity tariff for industry while the PSERC has raised power tariff ranging from Rs 24 paise to 65 paise per unit for different sectors of industry. The small sector has the most affected, and will have to bear additional cost of 65 paise per unit.
Badish Jindal, president of Federation of Small-scale Industries Association, said, “Although industrial policy had announced Rs 5 a unit power tariff for industry from November 1, at the same time, hiked tariff has been implemented from April 1, 2017, onward. We have no idea how the industry tariff is going to be implemented, but we have to pay hiked tariff from April 1 and above all, small sector has been charged the most. So it is a tough time for industry.”
The Punjab government has to pay nearly Rs 2,900 crore as farm subsidy which is still unpaid and the fresh farm subsidy, free power up to 200 units to SC, BPL families etc will total to over Rs 10,000 crore revealed PSPCL officials. In addition to this, subsidy of industry will also have to be compensated by the Punjab government.
Jindal said, “The Punjab government already has to pay Rs 10,000 crore as subsidy, industry subsidy will further push up the amount. So I wonder whether the government will be able to implement this from November 1.”
Upkar Singh, working president of Chamber of Industrial and Commercial Undertakings, said, “Rs 5 a unit for industry is not any subidised cost, but actually input cost of electricity production is much lesser than this, hence we have demanded a price correction.”