Various industry associations and trader organisations have threatened to go on an indefinite statewide strike by handing over the keys of their units to the chief minister unless the state government rolls back the 'steep' power tariff hike announced by the UP Electricity Regulatory Commission (UPERC) on Friday.
Representatives of these organisations issued a jointly signed statement to the press after a meeting here on Saturday.
Sources said industry and other associations might approach the high court, seeking quashing of the tariff order.
Those who took part in an emergency meeting on the issue here included Indian Industries Association (IIA) general secretary Manish Goyal, UP Rajya Vidyut Upbhokta Parishad president Avadhesh Kumar Verma, Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry-UP (ASSOCHAM-UP) general secretary SV Agrawal and IIA exchairman GC Chaturvedi.
The participants also included UP Chamber of Steel Industries vicepresident Shiv Shankar Awasthi, Ice-Cream Manufacturing Association member Chetan Bhalla, IIA-Lucknow chapter chairman Prashant Bhatiya and consumer representative Ramashankar Awasthi.
The representatives said the UPERC not only secretly declared the tariff order under the UPPCL pressure, but also made a steep hike in respect of industrial and commercial consumers which according to them was 30-60 %.
"On the one hand, the government talks of an industrial policy to attract investment, on the other hand it makes power costlier for them, indiscriminately," they regretted. They said they would hold a joint press conference here on Sunday to declare their strategy on the issue.
Awadhesh Kumar Verma, UPRVUP president and world energy council member, said the issue of the regulator retaining the minimum demand charges for industries on the UPPCL's insistence would also be raised vigorously as this was an attempt to weaken the regulator's autonomy.
“The tariff order has lost legal sanctity because UPERC chairman Rajesh Awasthi who had been involved in the tariff exercise for months was removed by the Supreme Court hours before the commission members announced the tariff order,” argued the sources.