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HindustanTimes Sat,20 Sep 2014

No hike in power tariff this fiscal, demands Punjab industry

PTI  Chandigarh, May 19, 2014
First Published: 18:10 IST(19/5/2014) | Last Updated: 18:15 IST(19/5/2014)

The Punjab industry on Monday said there should be no hike in power tariff for current fiscal, as it will render the sector uncompetitive and block new investments into the state.


Seeking maximisation of power generation and efficient management of power utility PSPCL, the industry pointed out that power tariff rather should come down in the wake of power utility's claims of availability of surplus power.

Notably, the demand for not raising power tariff came at a time when fledgling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) sprung surprise in Punjab by winning four Lok Sabha seats.

Power regulator Punjab State Electricity Regulatory Commission (PSERC) is likely to announce new power tariff for 2014-15 by the end of this month.

Revision in power tariff was not announced in the wake of code of conduct coming into place in the wake of Lok Sabha elections.

"There should be no hike in power tariff this fiscal as energy rates are already one of the highest in the country in Punjab. If further hike is allowed, then it would have damaging affect on the state industry which is already passing through tough times.

"Existing industry will turn uncompetitive against industrial hubs in other states," PHD Chamber of Commerce (Punjab Chapter) co-Chairman R S Sachdeva told PTI here.

Power utility Punjab State Power Corporation Ltd (PSPCL) has projected revenue gap of Rs. 2,595.30 crore for 2014-15 in its ARR and is looking at 10 per cent hike in power tariff to cover difference between revenue generation and revenue requirement.

In 2013-14, power tariff in Punjab went up by average 9.06 per cent across all categories.

Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal had even claimed last year that the rate of "basket of power" in the state would come down in future.

"Any increase in power tariff will have bad effect on attraction of new investments as the state will become unfavourable destination for new investments," Vardhman Yarn & Threads Managing Director D L Sharma said.

Due to the higher power tariff, many of big textile units in Punjab had already expanded their operations in other states like Madhya Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh.

Industry representatives demanded that PSPCL should rather focus on maximising its power generation which would lead to reduction in cost of power generation.

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"Currently, PSPCL is unable to operate its power plants fully because of coal shortage which is affecting power generation. It should focus on generating more power to bring down cost of generation and improvement in operational efficiency," Sharma pointed out.

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