Shimla: Hike in power tariff by 13 to 17 per cent for large industrial and commercial consumers will not help in attracting new investment to the state as well as retaining the existing industries. This was stated by Dhian Chand, chairman of HP Committee of PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry today.
“Increase in tariff by 40 to 50 paise per unit for industrial units is a big setback for industry. Himachal as a power surplus state should not have taken this step to discourage the moral of industry in the state,” he said. He further added that industries are the main consumers of power in the state and hence the most crucial revenue generators for the electricity board. Despite such high stakes, it is being serviced by only 2% to 3% of the total manpower strength, he said.
“It was not necessary for the electricity board to increase the tariff at this point in time. Investors resented the notification of the tariff order with retrospective effect from April 1 as they felt the effect of increase for the period that had already passed was in no way recoverable from their customers,” he said.
“Irregular supply and frequent breakdown of power has been often noticed and reported to the Board by the industry but no sound mechanism has been designed yet to address the concerns of the industrial consumers of the state. In spite of number of issues regarding supply of power unaddressed, the hike in tariff is in no way a reasonable step taken.” Umesh Akre, member of PHD Chamber, based in Shimla, expressed his displeasure on dual tariff system for the commercial users. He stressed on the need for single tariff charge that is based on actual power consumed by commercial users.