‘Power tariff hike unjust’
Govt trying to saddle us with extra burden to off set T&D losses: Traders, entrepreneurs
Srinagar, May 14: The recent power tariff hike approved by J&K State Electricity Regulatory Commission has come in for severe criticism in the trading and industry circles in the Valley.
The entrepreneurs expressed shock over the act of the government to seek “140 per cent tariff hike for industry.”
The entrepreneurs said they were disappointed with the government which according to them was only “pretending to promote industry in the Valley.”
“There was a record 140 per cent tariff hike approved by SERC in 2007-08 for industry. However, after our stiff opposition to the hike, the government that time negotiated a deal and reached an agreement with us as per which it was agreed that the government would partly share the burden of the hike effected in respect of industry,” said Shakeel Qalandar, president FCIK.
He said the government had appreciated that industry could not be subjected to such a heavy burden. “But it was shocking that just after two years, the government again approached the SERC seeking an average 140 per cent tariff hike for industry,” he said.
He praised the SERC for not acceding to the government demand and approving only an average hike. However, he said the hike was still uncalled for.
Qalandar said the PDD is trying to put the burden of its losses on account of T&D on its “honest and genuine consumers. We now demand that the government should immediately announce the grant of exemption of electricity duty to industries. We are paying 22 per cent tax over and above the power tariff which we should be exempted from.”
“We have never seen any other state in India paying such high rates against the use of electricity. If we talk about the other states of India and our neighboring states they are paying only 2 to 3 per cent tax for using electricity,” he added.
On the other hand the traders too have criticized the government for seeking steep hike.
“The department is simply trying to saddle the industry and traders with extra burden to cover their losses on account T&D,” said president KCCI Nazir Ahmad Dar.
He said: “Government is doing nothing to enhance generation capacity in state sector. Two years before we had heard some murmur about some micro hydel projects coming up, but we don’t know their fate till date,” he said.
Muhammad Sadiq Baqal, president Kashmir Traders and Manufacturers Federation said, “The hike is totally unjust. In fact we had observed shutdown on 9th and 10th of last month to press for our issues including one that the government should not go for tariff hike.”
Lastupdate on : Fri, 14 May 2010 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Fri, 14 May 2010 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sat, 15 May 2010 00:00:00 IST
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