Lashing out at the exorbitant hike in the power tariff in Punjab, former chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh on Wednesday sought its immediate withdrawal saying it will upset the economy of the common people across the state.
Capt Amarinder said, the government had no moral right to increase the tariff when it had not been able to provide adequate power to the consumers much against its claims of being power surplus.
Reacting to the steep hike in the power tariff, Capt Amarinder said, while the Punjab State Power Corporation Ltd had claimed a hike of only 9 per cent, which in itself was quite high, the actual figures worked out reveal that the tariff has actually been hiked by 12 per cent. "They are not just robbing the people, they are cheating them as well," the former chief minister remarked.
Giving details, Capt Amarinder pointed out, the Akali-BJP regime has been in power for six years and the cumulative increase in the power tariff during this time has been 79 per cent, while during the Congress regime between 2002 and 2007 the total hike in power tariff was only 22 per cent.
Moreover, he added, the power supply during the Congress regime was far better than the Akalis. “We bought power from outside at high cost and still did not pass on the burden to the consumers and tried to check the hike in the tariff”, he said, while adding, “not only have Akalis failed in providing adequate power, but they shamelessly increased the tariff as well”.
The former chief minister said, the tariff hike had become a regular feature of the Akali-BJP government and on an average during last six years they have increased the tariff by about 13 per cent every year.