Lucknow: Opposition parties in Uttar Pradesh came down heavily on the Yogi Adityanath-led BJP government over the increment of about 12 to 15 percent on power tariffs ahead of the festival season, while the state power minister Shrikant Sharma defended the move.
Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav tweeted, “At one hand the reduction in income and demand is pushing down the production capacity of the country, while on the other hand power tariff has been raised in the state.” He further alleged that the common people, including businessmen, were fed up of the government.
Yadav also said that possibilities of investment in Uttar Pradesh were lean as banks were not ready to extend investments.
Bahujan Samaj Party Supremo Mayawati also opposed the move saying that it would cause more trouble for “hard working people”.
“The decision to raise the power tariff by the state government is purely anti-people. This will cause more trouble to crores of hard working people of the state. The government should review its decision,” she said on Twitter.
Uttar Pradesh power minister Shrikant Sharma explained the reason for the decision taken by the Uttar Pradesh State Electricity Regulatory Commission (UPSERC) in a statement saying, “The government had looked into the problems of the consumers and made minimum hike in the lower tariff.”
The statement further read that rebate on pre-paid electricity meters had been raised from 1.25 to 2 percent, while the regularity surcharge of 4.28 percent has been removed.
The minister held big consumers of power like Indian Railways responsible for buying electricity directly from generation companies instead of Uttar Pradesh Power Corporation Limited (UPPCL), by taking advantage of the open access regime under the Indian Electricity Act 2003. He also said that increase in rail tariff for coal transportation also factors for the revised electricity tariff.
As per the new tariff order, “The migration to open access regime is expected to increase further in future, in view of this it is necessary to increase the power tariff.”
The sale of electricity to railway by UPPCL has decreased by 83.4 percent in the last two fiscal years.
Earlier, the UPPCL had shown a gap of Rs 8,837 crore between its annual revenue and the requirement. The company had sought an average hike of 25% from UPSERC to meet the revenue losses.
The move to hike power tariffs comes ahead of the several festivals like Navratri, Dussehra and Diwali, which will be celebrated in October.
Power tariff in the state were previously revised in November 2017.