Following a slew of protests against the power tariff hike announced by the Punjab government, state Congress chief Capt Amarinder Singh on Tuesday upped the ante against the "unpopular" decision by appealing to the people not to pay the retrospective increased price of electricity.
"Don't pay the hiked power tariff with retrospective effect and tell them that I have told you not to pay," Amarinder Singh said while addressing a protest rally organised to oppose the power tariff hike and other taxes imposed by the state government here.
The Congress leader termed the imposition of taxes with retrospective effect as "unlawful". "No rule permits a hike in power tariff from the back date," he said, vowing that the Congress would not only support the people but fight their case against the state government.
"Such a steep hike in power tariff is highly deplorable. The state government is further misguiding the people by showing the comparative power tariff hike in other states with doctored data," the state Congress chief alleged.
Amarinder Singh said that txes were not a solution to generate revenue. "Rather, the state government should formulate policies and rules for encouraging industry," he added.
He also rejected the claims of deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal regarding the state becoming power surplus in the years to come."Most upcoming power plants have no coal links. The state government has failed to sign power purchase agreements with them," he said, adding: "Under such circumstances, plant owners would be free to sell their powers on a high rate to any state."