The industries of Punjab are in big trouble due to the ignorance of state government
The power policy of PSPCL is adding to the woes
by Badish Jindal
The Industries of Punjab are in big trouble due to the ignorance of state government and the power policy of PSPCL is adding to the woes.
Presently the industries are running with under capacity of merely 25% to 50% which is resulting into huge power rate due to two part tariff system. The two part tariff is directly linked to consumption and the price will increase with the decrease in consumption.
Now the power is costing between 12Rs per unit to 20Rs per unit due to the low consumption of power. This resulted in the high increase in cost of production. Dut to the the steel making cost increased to 2500 Rs per ton in Punjab.
Recently as per tariff order 2020-21 the PSERC gave no relief to industries on account of decrease in huge prices of coal and petroleum products, in April 2019 the coal prices were 89.70USD per tons (6144 Rs per ton) whereas it decreases to 65USD in April 2020 (4875 Rs per ton). Similarly the crude oil prices reduced from 65 USD per barrel to 25 USD per barrel during the same period, But in the Annual Revenue Report the PSERC gave no relief of this fact to the consumers.
During the ARR of year 2019-20 the PSPCL owned thermals produced 336.90 crore units of power with an average of 3.46 Rs per unit. During the same period PSPCL purchased 4463 crore units of power from private companies @ 4.71Rs per unit.
But shockingly In the year 2020-21 PSERC approved own power generation of 485 crore units with a cost of 3.90Rs per unit. Similarly PSERC approved 4282 Crore units of private purchase @ 4.84 Rs per unit.
To settle this cost the PSERC proposed to increase the tariff of large scale units from 11 paisa to 19 paisa per unit.
We are writing to home ministry and CERC to review this tariff order in regard to the impact of huge decline in fuel prices.
Recently the center has instructed the state governments to abolish cross subsidy but the State is still charging 72paisa from industries as cross subsidy against the free and cheap power to other sectors. This is a step motherly treatment with industries passing through hard times.
We have also requested the state government to stick to their promise of power to industries @5Rs per unit (net) at least for the year 2020-21.
(Author is National President, All Industries & Trade Forum)