Day after power tariff hike, Punjab CM Capt Amarinder says will cut taxes
Amarinder has convened a review meeting on Wednesday to discuss ways and measures to address the tax anomalies, which his government had “inherited from the Akalis”.punjab Updated: Oct 25, 2017 12:26 IST
Under fire from opposition parties over hike in power tariffs, chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Tuesday directed officials to explore the possibility of rationalising taxes imposed by the previous Akali-BJP regime.
Claiming that Punjab provides domestic power to consumers at the lowest base rate (minus taxes) in the northern region, barring Himachal, he said taking taxes into account, the domestic power tariff in Punjab still remains lower than Delhi and Rajasthan, though that of Uttar Pradesh and Haryana becomes somewhat less in that case, an official spokesperson said. He added that the CM has convened a review meeting on Wednesday to discuss ways and measures to address the tax anomalies, which his government had “inherited from the Akalis”.
Currently, the total taxes on power include electricity duty (13%) and infrastructure development fee, which the previous government had introduced at 5% two years ago.
They had also hiked the electricity duty twice (from 10% in 2007 to 13%), the chief minister said lashing out at the party for misleading the people on the issue.
“It was because of its lopsided tax structure and its anti-people policies that the Akalis had ended up effecting an overall 61% hike in power tariff diring their rule. Instead of providing constructive opposition in the interest of the state and its people, the SAD and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) had been pursuing a negative agenda,” he added.
AAP to protest on Friday in Patiala
Meanwhile, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has decided to hold a protest against the power tariff hike in the state, in Patiala on Friday. In a joint statement, Punjab AAP president Bhagwant Mann and co-president Aman Arora criticised the tariff hike
and termed it as an “anti-people” policy of the state government. “The decision will hit the people further,” they said, demanding its immediate rollback. They also accused the government of waiting for the Gurdaspur Lok Sabha by-elections to announce the increase in tariff.