Industry slammed PSERC for collecting fixed charges
In April, the state government had announced that no fixed charges would be levied on large and medium units for two months starting from March 23
Ludhiana: Upkar Singh Ahuja, President and Pankaj Sharma, General Secretary, Chamber of Industrial and Commercial Undertakings (CICU) in a joint statement said that industry is reeling under very heavy slow-down.
Local industrialists have also slammed the Punjab State Electricity Regulatory Commission (PSERC) for collecting fixed charges for two months starting from March 23, which were earlier waived off by the state government. In April, the state government had announced that no fixed charges would be levied on large and medium units for two months starting from March 23. However, the PSERC, through its orders dated July 17, has announced that charges cannot be waived off and would be collected in six instalments starting from September.
They also said that the industry would not be able to bear the charges at this time of crisis when the units are being run at 30% capacity due to shortage of labour and economy slow-down. "The government should rather waive off the fixed charges for a year so that the industry could come back on track," he said adding that PSERC should add another licensee for distribution of power as it would create competition and the charges would also be reduced.
They also added that the state government has committed fraud with the industry by making fake announcements. "If the government is committed for the betterment of the industry then it should announce a subsidy equal to the fixed charges which have to be recovered from the industry," said Jindal adding that the industry is being forced to pay fixed charges for the lock-down period.
CICU demanded that the PSERC should be dissolved and the state government should announce relief for the industry. The PSERC is putting a burden of crores of rupees on the public in terms of infrastructure and salaries, but it has never provided relief to residents. The state government should dissolve the PSERC and waive off fixed charges till March next year."