Union minister Manish Tewari on Friday lashed out at the SAD-BJP government in Punjab for "exorbitant" power tariff hike announced in its tenure and said it has failed to generate a single megawatt of energy.
"The Akali-BJP government has increased the power tariff in the state by about 70 per cent during the past six years and it has not added a single extra unit of power," the information and broadcasting minister said in a statement issued here.
"Of late the power tariff in Punjab has become oppressively exorbitant with common man being made to pay through the nose," he said.
He raised questions over the transparency in the state's power tariff policy.
Expressing concern over the regularly inflated power bills across the state, Tewari said the Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) has been imposing "unexplained" and "arbitrary" tariff and other charges on the helpless consumers who do not have any option but to pay their bills.
The state government has failed to respond to the complaints of the inflated bills by the PSPCL, he said.
"Sometimes the consumers are told that these are the advance charges and sometimes the security deposit for 45 days," the Union minister pointed out while asking for the justification of the extra charges.
Tewari said several domestic consumers have received electricity bills which are more than their monthly income.
Several small and medium scale industrial units are on the brink of closure only because they are not in a position to pay their electricity bills, he added.