Industry bodies raise voice against power tariff hike, demand roll back

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 10 Dec 2018 09:43:29


Business Bureau,

The recent hike in power tariff seems to be not going down well with the regional industry as several bodies and associations of entrepreneurs are alleging that they are suffering due to it. The representatives of these organisations observed that besides hike in power tariff, the power utility has been imposing heavy penalty on the consumers making it further difficult their survival.
They highlighted that the industries in Vidarbha region would bleed heavily in coming days. Due to the hike, functioning of many units has become unviable, they felt.
The Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited (MSEDCL) has recently introduced the new power tariff system that was brought into effect from September 2018.

The State-owned distribution company has allegedly withdrawn power incentives and benefits which were giving much relief to regional entrepreneurs.
Commenting on the matter, Atul Pande, President of Vidarbha Industries Association (VIA) told The Hitavada on Sunday, “Industries are opposing the new power tariff tooth and nail as it is impacting their overall operations. We want the power tariff to be at par with the neighbouring State.”

As industries consume huge quantity of power, hike in tariff spoils its financial calculations. Industries want the previous power tariff system to be brought back in order to be competitive in the market. Recently, a large number of entrepreneurs have raised voice against the hike highlighting significant rise in their electricity bills. Some of them alleged that they received about 42 per cent more as compared to previous bills.

“Industries in Vidarbha are already paying hefty price for power as compered to their counterparts in adjoining states. In fact, there should be a level playing field it we wish to see industrial prosperity here,” Pande said.
“Lowering power bills and giving incentives will be the first step in that direction. This will also attract new industries to set up large projects and provide large scale employment,” he added.

Nitin Lonkar, President of Butibori Manufacturers Association (BMA) expressed similar views and said that the new power system needs to be abolished and old system brought back. The distribution company has revised the technique imposing fine on low power factor that has resulted in heavy penalties on industries. “The new power factor calculation system is a big setback for industries in Vidarbha. It has impacted the overall working of industrial units including textile and rolling mills which use high amount of power ,” he said.

Capt C M Randhir, President of MIDC Industries Association, said that the power tariffs should be lowered to more realistic levels. There are some industrial units that have received very high power bills. “For example, in one case a unit consumed power worth Rs 6,000 but it had to pay penalty to the tune of Rs 7,000. Here, the penalty component is more than the power consumed,” he said adding that such kind of power tariff seems unrealistic and needs to be done away with. The industry bodies have recently filed a review petition with Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC).