Flaying the 12% increase in power tariff, Congress Legislature Party leader Sunil Jakhar said here on Wednesday that the SAD-BJP government, instead of announcing a package for the industry, had further burdened it by imposing this hike.
Criticising the Punjab State Electricity Regulatory Commission (PSERC) for imposing the hike with retrospective effect from April, Jakhar said this showed that the commission was acting on the state government's orders. "The PSERC is an autonomous body. It should work independently and not under the influence of the government," he said.
Jakhar, who was in Ludhiana to listen to the grievances of industrialists, questioned the decision to announce the power tariff hike after the municipal corporation elections and the Dasuya bypoll, saying, "The SAD-BJP has cheated the people by announcing the tariff hike in July but implementing it from April."
Referring to the Rs 500-crore subsidy announced for the Bathinda refinery, Jakhar asked, "Why can't the state government give similar benefits to the industry, which is going through a rough patch?"
Jakhar said it was ironical that while the Punjab State Power Corporation Ltd (PSPCL) was formed after raising a Rs 18,000-crore loan, the power corporations in other states were doing much better without any financial liabilities.
"It is a reflection of the sorry state of affairs in the PSPCL that the corporation has still not been able to check power losses due to pilferage. The government has failed to address the problem of depleting water table, which has declined further due to use of motor pumps," he said.