Punjab base power tariff still lowest in north except Himachal
Chandigarh: Besides capping industrial power at Rs. 5/unit and offering agriculture power free of cost, Punjab continues to provide domestic power to consumers at the lowest base rate (minus taxes) in the northern region, barring Himachal Pradesh, Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh said on Tuesday, while directing officials to explore the possibility of rationalizing the taxes imposed by the previous regime.With the taxes taken into account, the domestic power tariff in Punjab still remains lower than Delhi and Rajasthan, though that of UP and Haryana becomes somewhat less in that case, an official spokesperson said, adding that the Chief Minister has convened a review meeting on Wednesday to discuss ways and measures to address the tax anomalies, which his government had inherited from Akalis. Currently, the total taxes on power include Electricity Duty, Octroi and Infrastructure Development Fee. The Akalis had introduced 5% Infrastructure Development Fee two years back and had hiked the Electricity Duty twice (from 10% in 2007 to 13% during its rule), the Chief Minister pointed out, lashing out at the party for misleading the people on the issue by failing to disclose these crucial facts.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 during its regime, Captain Amarinder said, lambasting them for burdening the people all these years to fill their own coffers and now trying to undermine the Congress government’s initiatives taken in the interest of the people’s welfare. Instead of providing constructive opposition in the interest of the state and its people, the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) had been pursuing a negative agenda to undermine the development work being done by the Congress government in order to mislead the people, said Captain Amarinder.Reacting to media reports, an official spokesperson said the facts clearly show that, barring Himachal Pradesh, Punjab remains at the lowest rung in terms of base power tariff across categories in the northern part of the country, despite the new tariff structure announced yesterday by PSERC, he added. It may be noted that besides a freeze on industrial power tariff at Rs 5/unit, which is lower than all other northern states, except HP, commercial power rates in Punjab are also second only to Himachal Pradesh, both with and without taxes.The spokesperson, citing data, pointed out that in the Domestic category, Punjab’s base power rate, after revision, stood at Rs. 6.03 per unit, against Rs. 6.42 in Haryana, Rs. 7.65 in Delhi, Rs. 6.98 in Rajasthan and Rs. 6.31 in Uttar Pradesh. Himachal Pradesh was the only state in the region providing domestic power at a lower rate of Rs. 4.70 per unit. In fact, the rate was much higher even in other major states of the country, including Maharashtra (Rs. 9.91 per unit) and Madhya Pradesh (Rs. 6.63/unit) and Andhra Pradesh (Rs. 6.94/unit). Similarly, the base NDS or Commercial power rate in Punjab now stands at Rs. 7.34/unit, as compared to neighbouring Haryana (Rs. 8.76/unit), Delhi (Rs. 12.21/unit), Rajasthan (Rs. 8.94/unit) and Uttar Pradesh (Rs. 11.37/unit), while Himachal Pradesh provides commercial power at Rs. 6.75/unit). The rate in this category for Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh is, respectively, Rs. 12.60/unit, Rs. 8.84/unit and Rs. 10.21/unit).In the Industrial category, the subsidized base rate in SP has been capped by the Punjab government at Rs. 4.99/unit, with the base rate in MS and LS industries also being subsidized and frozen at Rs. 5/unit, as already announced by the Chief Minister. In Haryana, the base rates for SP, MP and LS industry types are Rs. 6.87, Rs. 8.50 and Rs. 8.14 per unit. The respective per unit base rates for Delhi are Rs. 10.95, Rs. 12.39 and Rs. 10.09. Rajasthan is providing power to these three industry types at base rates of Rs. 7.25, Rs. 8.67 and Rs. 8.78 per unit, while the respective rates in U.P stand at Rs. 10.17, Rs. 9.83 and Rs. 7.95 per unit. The base rates in Himachal Pradesh – at Rs. 5.71, Rs. 6.31, Rs 6.79 per unit respectively, are also higher than the subsidized rates announced by the Captain Amarinder government in Punjab, the spokesperson pointed out.Further, the government has also raised the night rebate for industry from Rs 1 to Rs. 1.25 to further incentivise power saving through reduced consumption at night-time, he added. Significantly, Punjab is offering free power in the Agriculture category, in addition to free power up to 200 units/month, for SC DS, Non-SC BPL DS and BC DS consumers, with connected load up to 1 kW. The comparative rates, as provided above, factor in the Punjab conversion factor, as approved by the Commission, to convert the kVAh tariff in all the states to kWh tariff. Also, the 2-part tariff in various states has been converted into single-part tariff by taking the Punjab Utilization Factor into account.
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