Srinagar, Aug 12: Federation of Chambers of Industries Kashmir (FCIK) has contested the proposal filed by Kashmir Power Distribution Corporation Limited (KPDCL) with Joint Electricity Commission for UT of J&K and UT of Ladakh (JERC) seeking approval for subsuming 15 percent of electricity duty in the tariff of consumers of all categories.
A statement said that a session of a public hearing was held by JERC on Saturday in Srinagar for obtaining views and listening to the objections from various consumers and organisations against various proposals submitted by KPDCL for approval of the Commission. The hearing session was presided over by the Chairman of the Commission Lokesh D Jha with other two members of the Commission.
The FCIK delegation led by former President Shakeel Qalander included former presidents Er Zahoor Bhat, Muhammad Ashraf Mir, Syed FazalIllahi and Ovees Jami.
The delegation while expressing its surprise on the opportunistic proposal of KPDCL for subsuming 15% electricity duty in the wake of possible abolishment by the government asked why the utility wanted to snatch the smile from the lips of consumers had the government made up its mind to extend some relief to them.
The delegation argued that any increase in the tariff could only be sought from the Commission against valid details which have not been furnished by the utility. FCIK submitted the Commission not to entertain the misleading plea of the utility that there would be no impact on the last year’s tariff of consumers. FCIK also opposed the proposal to double the flat rates for unmetered consumers terming it harsh for the poor of far-flung areas.
While hailing the performance of the corporations for putting in place necessary grid and transmission infrastructure, the FCIK delegation submitted that the continued addition in such infrastructure was inevitable in view of growing demands for electricity from industry and general public. Explaining the need for future electricity requirements, FCIK said that current per capita energy consumption in Jammu and Kashmir of 1492 kilowatt hour was only 1/3rd of the average global per capita consumption and was likely to increase with more and more use of modern gadgets and setting up of industry.
The FCIK also took up the matter of deficiency in manpower with all power-related corporations and submitted that this could directly affect the efficiency of the corporations pointing out that as per the petition, there were 774 vacant posts in JKPTCL alone. FCIK also submitted that the Commission recommended enhancement in the retirement age of senior technocrats with vast experience in a similar way as decided for medicos, university professors if it was within its mandate. FCIK regretted that two of the power corporations JKPCL and JKSPDC were running without full-time heads.