Bajwa warns of agitation against power tariff hike
The Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee president Partap Singh Bajwa, strongly opposed the proposed 12 per cent hike in power tariff, and said his party would organise mass mobilisation on this issue.
He said it was more surprising that the move had been initiated at the time when the PSPCL had been in profits during the last two years.
The people would not tolerate this additional burden. He said the Congress would launch agitation against the Akali government.
He said on the industrial front, the situation was dismal as evident from the ASSOCHAM study despite the tall claims being made by the Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal, who had some months back organised mega investment summit to show case Punjab.
Mr Bajwa said, while new investments had stopped coming to Punjab, the projects already in pipeline had suffered a cost overrun of about 47 per cent to Rs 57,000 crore.
About 70 per cent of the new projects had remained non-starter in 2013-14. Mr Bajwa said as per this study, the growth of new investment had declined and slipped to an average negative growth rate of 43 per cent over the last three years.
From about Rs 33,000 crore in 2008-9, new investment had decreased to about Rs. 4600 crore,he added.
Pratap Singh Bajwa said, various organisations were up in arms against the government. Punjab had been subjected to capital flight due to the concessions granted by the NDA government to the neighbouring states in which Sukhbir Singh Badal was the Minister of State for Industries.
The PPCC chief said Punjab could not afford any down slide as lakhs of Punjabi youth were already unemployed and there was no creation of new employment avenues. The situation was having serious social fall out.
He called upon the government to reject this move by the power corporation as it would have disastrous effects on the state's economy.
Power tariff was being increased every year and such a situation could not be allowed to go on, he added.
(Posted on 22-05-2014)