No rollback on power subsidy to industry: Punjab CM
Chandigarh, Dec 13 : Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Wednesday ruled out any rollback on the decision to provide power to the industry at a subsidised rate of Rs five per unit.The decision has already been taken by the state government and ratified by the Cabinet, he said, setting at rest all apprehensions of any change in this regard.
The Chief Minister in a statement here said the notification on the industrial power subsidy had been slightly delayed only to give the Department of Industries the time to resolve some critical issues faced by the industry on account of the newly imposed fixed power tariff.
The two-part power tariff structure announced by Punjab State Electricity Regulatory Commission (PSERC) would prevent the benefits of the subsidy from reaching the bulk industrial power consumers such as the steel industry and the large units with co-generation capacities, Singh said.
He said he had received various representations from the industry seeking government intervention to minimise the adverse effect of the fixed tariff.
Amarinder Singh pointed out that large units dependent on co-generation were forced to install massive external power capacities and were required to pay fixed charges on the same even though the usage of power from the grid was minimal.
The plight of the steel industry was somewhat similar as it required large power capacities for the cold start of its machines and had to pay fixed tariff on the same even though the bulk consumption was much lower, he added.
Taking cognizance of the same and some other serious problems faced by the industry, the Chief Minister said he has directed the Chief Secretary and other officials concerned to work out the modalities in consultation with representatives of industry to resolve the matter.
The officials have been asked to come out with their recommendations and submit them to the regulator by the end of the month so that the benefit of the subsidy can reach the entire industry in the state, with the fixed tariff impact being minimised.