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Maharashtra cabinet extends power duty relief to Marathwada, Vidarbha till 2024

The exemption is expected to boost industries and create employment in the region, senior energy department officials said.

mumbai Updated: May 29, 2019 12:00 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
mumbai,maharashtra cabinet,marathwada
Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis. The state cabinet has cleared a proposal to extend the exemption from electricity duty for industries in Vidarbha and Marathwada till 2024.(HT FIle Photo )

The Maharashtra cabinet on Tuesday cleared a proposal to extend the exemption from electricity duty for industries in Vidarbha and Marathwada till 2024. The exemption is expected to boost industries and create employment in the region, senior energy department officials said. Ahead of the Assembly polls slated in October, this is also one of the first sops for these backward regions

According to officials, the exemption was first introduced on March 21, 2013 by the erstwhile Congress-Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) government for five years, which ended on March 20, 2019. The new exemption would be in force till March 31, 2024.

Currently, for industries where electricity duty is levied, industrial units pay 9.30% of the consumption charges as electricity duty. Industries including micro, small, medium in C, D and D+ category industrial areas and Maoist-affected areas will benefit from the decision. The exemption is expected to add a burden of Rs 600 crore annually on the state government. Power-intensive industries in the region will benefit tremendously from the decision, officials said.

“The proposal for extending the exemption for industrial units was put forward with the intention to boost industrial development in the region. More power-oriented units could come and take advantage of the exemption. With new industrial units, it will also generate employment in Marathwada and Vidarbha,” state energy minister Chandrashekhar Bawankule said after the decision. Textile, plastic and automobile industries dominate the region.

Bawankule added that the decision is an addition to other key decisions to boost industrial development in Vidarbha and Marathwada, which are considered as economically backward regions in the state. In 2016, the state government decided to subsidise power tariffs in the two regions for new industries. A senior energy department official added that power tariffs in the region have been lowered to plug the exodus of power-intensive industries to Chhattisgarh.

Prashant Mohota, executive committee member of the Nagpur-based Vidarbha Industries Association, welcomed the decision. “(After) the mandate they have got (in the Lok Sabha polls) such a decision will definitely call for more investments in Vidarbha as well as Marathwada. The region has few industries; due to the ecosystem here, manufacturing is costly and industry owners cannot pay the (power) bill. Therefore, such incentives by the government help us,” Mohota, who heads the energy forum of the association, said.

First Published: May 29, 2019 11:59 IST