After winning Jalandhar LS bypoll, AAP hikes electricity charges in Punjab

After winning Jalandhar LS bypoll, AAP hikes electricity charges in Punjab
Source: IANS

Chandigarh, May 15 (IANS) Just two days after winning a Lok Sabha bypoll with focus mainly on its people-centric schemes, including free electricity of 300 units every household, the AAP government in Punjab on Monday announced the new electricity tariff with a per unit increase ranging from 25 to 89 paise for domestic and commercial consumers.

The Punjab State Electricity Regulatory Commission (PSERC) has issued the new tariff for those who consume more than 300 units per month and for the non-residential sector that does not get any subsidy.

As per the new tariffs, which will come into effect from May 16, the charges for those having a load of up to 2 KW have been revised to Rs 4.19 per unit for the first 100 units (an increase of 70 paise per unit), Rs 6.64 per unit for 101 to 300 units (an increase of 80 paise per unit), and Rs 7.75 per unit for above 300 units (an increase of 45 paise per unit).

For those having a load between 2 KW and 7 KW, the existing charge is Rs 3.74 per unit for the first 100 units, Rs 5.84 per unit for 101 to 300 units, and Rs 7.30 per unit for above 300 units. Whereas, the new tariff will be Rs 4.44 per unit, Rs 6.64 per unit, and Rs 7.75 per unit for the first 100 units, 101 to 300 units, and above 300 units, respectively.

In the industrial category, the tariff has been increased from Rs 5.53 to Rs 5.67 per unit for those consuming up to 20 KVA.

Justifying the hike, Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann said the revised tariff would not impact the common people. The increase would be borne by the government.

Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) President Sukhbir Badal said the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) had mastered the politics of lies and deception by invoking a massive power hike across all categories of consumers immediately after winning the Jalandhar by-poll.

Demanding an immediate withdrawal of the back breaking hike, the SAD president said "AAP has penalised Punjabis for reposing faith in the party and betrayed their trust".

In a statement here, the SAD president said "AAP contested the Jalandhar by-poll by showcasing its 300 units free power scheme. Even that has been effectively dismantled with today's power hike. Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann's contention that the Punjab government will subsidise consumers for the additional cost borne by them while availing the 300 unit's free scheme by paying the same to PSPCL is an eye wash.

"The government already owes Rs 20,400 crore to PSPCL and is in no position to take on an additional burden."

Badal said "the AAP government has increased the power tariff of all categories, including the lowest brackets. In fact, the increase has been the most for the lowest categories with consumers in the zero to 100 units facing an increase of 70 paise per unit and those in the 100 to 300 unit category facing a hike of 80 paise per unit."

Asserting that the common man would be most affected, Badal said: "AAP has shown its true colours. It has proved that it cannot be trusted. It deliberately postponed the power hike till after the Jalandhar parliamentary by-poll and is again lying to consumers that it will subsidise the weaker sections. If it aims to do so then why has it imposed this hike in the first place?"