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SAD condemns Cong govt decision to hike power tariff by 8 per cent for next fiscal

Chandigarh, (Gurpreet) : The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) today condemned the Congress government for repeated power hikes and said its latest proposal to hike power tariff by another eight per cent would result in untold sufferings to the common man as well as trade and industry which was reeling from the adverse affects of the COVID - 19 pandemic. It demanded the government roll back its decision immediately.

In a statement here, former Minister Sikander Singh Maluka said the PSPCL’s requisition for a eight per cent hike in power tariff for the 2021-22 fiscal amounted to transferring its own inefficiencies on the consumers. “We condemn this anti - people step. The government should provide much needed relief to the common man as well as trade and industry instead of seeking hefty power hikes”.

He said that the Congress government had already increased power tariff by more than 30 percent since coming to power in Punjab and the latest proposed hike would make power rates in the State among the most costliest in the country.

Asking the Congress government not to penalise the people for its failure to run the PSPCL on professional lines; Mr Sikander Singh Maluka said the PSPCL had run up a revenue loss of Rs 8363 crores during the last three years. “We demand the Congress government should release a white paper on the entire issue. The PSPCL has lost money due to the Rs 4,300 crore power scam besides failure to strike out against corruption and even mismanagement in power purchases.

Mr Maluka said the recent hikes had made Punjab a most unfavorable destination for investment. He said simultaneously the Scheduled Caste population, which was given partial free power by S Parkash Singh Badal, had been worst hit with the Congress government changing norms to virtually do away with this facility. He said due to this the SC population was being served highly inflated bills which they were unable to deposit.

The SAD leader said the industry had also been tricked in a similar manner. “First the industrial sector was promised power at a landing cost of Rs 5 per unit but was charged between Rs 8 to Rs 8.50 per unit. Now during lockdown the industry was told that fixed charges applicable during closure of units would be waived off. This is yet to take place. The SAD expressed solidarity with the industrial sector and demands that both promises be implemented immediately to make an economic revival possible in the State”.

Asking the government not to transfer its inefficiencies to the people, Maluka said the power sector had also been affected by the Rs 4300 crore power scam which had been brushed under the carpet. “This the reason why the common man and the industrial sector is being levied power rates which are among the highest in the country”, Mr Maluka said adding the SAD would come up with an agitation plan to force the government to provide relief to the people.

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