Addressing a ‘sadassu' on ‘Electricity reforms – burden on people' here on Sunday, Mr. Raghavulu criticised the government for "poor management of power supply" in the State.

CPI(M) State secretary B.V. Raghavulu has said the government is preparing to impose Rs.25,000 crore burden on people in the name of electricity charges and other taxes.

Addressing a ‘sadassu' on ‘Electricity reforms – burden on people' here on Sunday, Mr. Raghavulu criticised the government for “poor management of power supply” in the State. The power position in the State worsened only due to the negligent attitude of the government, he alleged.

Had the government improved power generation in a planned manner and encouraged APGenco, there was no need to purchase power at higher price. “It is not correct that the government increased power charges due to supply of free power to agriculture,” Mr. Raghavulu said.

He said the State Government had imposed Rs.1,400 crore burden on people by increasing power charges in 2010 and Rs.800 crore in 2011. “Now, it proposes an abnormal increase of Rs.4,400 crore,” he added.

“The government is imposing a huge burden on the poor and the middle class sections by collecting service charges for fixing electric meters,” he said. Penalty was doubled on electric bills and service charge was being collected from consumers if the bill was paid at eSeva centres, he said.

Criticising Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy for “deceiving” people by giving false statements that the poor were exempted from the tariff hike, Mr. Raghavulu said the government was fleecing the people in different ways.

Power generation companies asked the government to increase the charges up to Rs.3,600 crore, but the government increased it to Rs.4,470 crore, he said.

Tirupati MLA and Congress leader K. Chiranjeevi wrote a letter to the Chief Minister on the steep increase in power charges and the government decreased the burden by just Rs.170 crore, which, Mr. Raghavulu said, was eyewash.

Stating that there was a threat to small-scale industries in the State if the power situation continued, Mr. Raghavulu said many small and medium industries were on the verge of closure. Due to frequent power-cuts and increase in power charges, unemployment could set in, he said.

Alleging that the government was deliberately encouraging private power plants and doing business in power production, the CPI (M) leader called upon people to fight against the wrong policies of the government.

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