Overlooking Center’s advice, J&K proposes 40 percent hike in power tariff for industries

Navneet Dubey. Updated: 5/16/2022 11:39:27 AM Front Page

Move triggers shockwave among Industrialists

Jammu: Overlooking the advice of union government as well as losses faced by COVID -19 pandemic for two the consecutive years, the Jammu and Kashmir has proposed 40 percent hike in power tariff for industries to meet the revenue gap.
The move of Jammu and Kashmir government came after Union Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitharamna has advised all states as well Union Territories to provide quality power at reasonable prices to Industrialists to enable them to grow.
The measure of the J&K government to meet revenue deficit has triggered shockwave among industrialists and administration justified its move citing reason that the tariff will be lowest in country even after the proposal receive green signal from Joint Electricity Regulatory Commission (JERC).
The J&K Power Distribution Corporations have filed a petition with Joint Electricity Regulatory Commission J&K and Ladakh for an average approximately 40% Power Tariff hike along with substantial increase in the Fixed/Demand Charges for the year 2022-23 for Industrial Sector of J&K.
The proposal for the power tariff has been put in public domain for suggestions and feedback. However the proposal would take around three to five months to get approval.
As per a senior official of the PDD, the department is facing huge loss in revenue and it has become unsustainable to supply power at such low tariffs. To overcome the situation, the proposal to increase the electricity fare has been placed before the Joint Electricity Regulatory Commission of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.
MD Jammu Power Distribution Corporation Limited (JPDCL) Shiv Anant Tayal said,” The last tariff hike for the industrial sector in Jammu was undertaken in the year 2016 and in the last six years the power tariff had remained unchanged. Moreover even if the JERC J&K and Ladakh hike the tariff as our proposal, it will still be the lowest among the neighboring states including Punjab”.
As per a senior official in the Power Development Department, the proposal for hike is before Joint Electricity Regulatory Commission J&K and Ladakh-an autonomous body which will take final call on the quantum of hike.
The industrial areas getting power on low tension(LT) connection the rent per kWh is Rs 3.30 per unit, has been proposed to be increased to Rs 4.50 per unit. The existing fix charges of Rs 21 KW/month will be hiked to Rs 30 KW/month. While industries getting power from high tension(HT) connections with 11KV supply the fare from present Rs 2.95 per unit, has been proposed to increase to Rs 5.00 per unit. The demand charge from present Rs 136.50 KW/month will be hiked to 175 KW/month.
The industrial units getting 33KV supply the fare from present Rs 2.86 per unit, has been proposed to increase to Rs 4.90 per unit. The demand charge from present Rs 136.50 KW/month will be hiked to 15o KW/month.
The proposal to hike industrial power tariff had sent a shock wave among the industrialists. Bari Brahmana Industries Association has termed the proposed tariff hike a black warrant for the industrial sector of Jammu and Kashmir.
The Association has condemned the move of proposed Power Tariff Hike and termed it unjustified as the Department has failed to reduce the AT&C Losses which is projected @ 43.77% for the FY 2022-23 whereas the National Level average AT&C Losses is approx. 20% but in last three Years Department has failed to reduce the Transmission Losses which is 50 to 52% as per the Petition.
BBIA president Lalit Mahajan said JPDCL has mentioned in the Writ Petition with the justification of gap between the Purchase and Supply of Energy which is as our opinion only due excessive Transmission Losses in comparison to National Level, whereas in respect of Industrial Units working in Bari Brahmana Industrial Complex, the Transmission Losses are well within the prescribed limit of Power Development Department which is 7 to 8%, hence we do not understand the reason for increase in the Power Tariff for Industrial Sector. The Government should take preventive measures to plug the Loopholes in the System and try to control Transmission Losses the areas other than the Industrial Areas and also improve the Infrastructure to control the Transmission Losses.
Mahajan pointed out that any further increase in the Power Tariff may be resulting into closer of Units due to which massive Retrenchment of the Industrial Worker may be the last option for the existing working Industrial Units.
It is also worthwhile to mention here that the Prospective Investors, who are in the process of setting up of their Units on the basis Cheap Power available in J&KUT, may opt for the shifting of their project to other States who are offering Lower Power Tariff for Industrial Sector.
Association of Industries Gangyal president Rajesh Jain has expressed shock over the attitude of Power Department towards industrial sector. Jain said the petition filed by PDD before JKSERC for hike in power tariff to the tune of approximately up to 50% and fixed charges for 30% approximately. Whereas the government press release has depicted only 12% to 17% hike thus misleading public and higher authorities in the government.
Jain feared that such power hike shall lead to closure of industry resulting in unemployment of lakhs of workers along with the entrepreneurs. This will add unemployment to already higher percentage of unemployment in the country and UT.
PHDCCI J&K chapter demanded immediate rollback of proposal for average 12.46% and 17.74% power tariff hike in domestic, industrial, Commercial, agriculture Categories.
Baldev Singh Raina Chairperson PHDCCI Kashmir stated that this proposed power tariff hike would impact domestic as well as industrial and Commercial consumers, we therefore request the electricity regulatory Commission, to thoroughly examine the proposal of PDCL and spare the poor and middle- class domestic and Existing Industrial and Service sector consumers from this unnecessary power hike as all economic sectors and people are already saddled with uncertainty.

Updated On 5/16/2022 11:40:41 AM

Comment on this Story