In yet another populist measure with an eye on the Lok Sabha polls, CPI(M) led LDF government in Kerala has decided to withdraw thermal surcharge on power.
Announcing this in the Assembly, state Electricity Minister A K Balan said Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) has been instructed to seek the approval of Electricity Regulatory Commission to roll back the thermal surcharge in the wake of fall in the prices of fuel, including naphtha.
The government, a few months back, while imposing restrictions on power consumption, had also levied surcharge of 50 paise per unit from power consumers who were using power between 80 and 200 units. Those who consume power below 80 units were exempted from the surcharge.
The government had announced a scheme for providing rice at Rs two a Kg to BPL families in the budget presented last week.
Balan said surcharge was imposed because unit cost of power generated in thermal stations was very high as fuel prices were at its peak. With the fall in prices of fuel, the financial liability of KSEB was expected to be Rs 1,000 crore, compared to the earlier projected amount of Rs 2,500 crore.