Industries in Indore's Special Economic Zone (SEZ) have stepped up efforts for resumption of power supply from the National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC), six months after the public sector company stopped supplying electricity.
After enjoying low power tariff for 10 years (2004-2014), the units located in Pithampur-based SEZ are now getting power from MP Power Management Company at a relatively higher tariff of Rs 3.35 per unit. The average tariff charged by NTPC stood at Rs 2.50 per unit.
"At present, the MP Power Management Company is supplying 30 MW power to Indore SEZ at a tariff of Rs 3.35 per unit (excluding the fixed charges). The power supplied by NTPC was cheaper," Pithampur Audyogik Sangathan president Gautam Kothari said.
An industrial delegation recently met Indore MP Sumitra Mahajan in this regard and urged her to take up the matter with the Union power ministry.
At present, 46 units are operational in SEZ area and four new units are under construction. These units include industries from various sectors such as pharmaceuticals, engineering, agro and textiles. Exports from the zone touched Rs 2,909 crore in 2013-14 as against Rs 1,927 crore in the 2012-13, recording a growth of 51%.
Meanwhile, the state government has moved the Supreme Court to challenge the decision of the Central Electricity Authority to refund Rs 40 crore to Indore SEZ units against excess power billing by the state government agency from 2010 to 2013.
In November last year, the Central Electricity Appellate Authority had directed the Audyogik Kendra Vikas Nigam (AKVN) of Indore to refund Rs 40 crore to the industrial units in lieu of excess billing during the two-and-a-half year period.
"The government agency has been directed to refund Rs 40 crore to 30 industrial units in Indore SEZ. The agency will have to pay an interest of 18% in case it fails to get any relief from the Supreme Court," Kothari said.
The government nodal agency had been charging R5.50 per unit during two-and-a-half year period while now the tariff is Rs 3.35 per unit apart from the fixed charges.