The Kerala Cabinet on Wednesday decided to waive surcharge on domestic power consumption of up to 120 units a month.

The Government will provide Rs. 54 crore to the State Electricity Board to exempt ordinary consumers from paying the surcharge at 25 paise a unit, Chief Minister V. S. Achuthanandan told the media after the Cabinet meeting.

The State Electricity Regulatory Commission had permitted the Board to realise a surcharge of 25 paise a unit from all consumers for six months from April 1, with higher charges for usage above 300 units a month.

The Chief Minister recalled that the Board had sought the imposition of surcharge to meet the additional burden on purchase of power at higher cost. The purchase was necessitated by the drought and cut in allocations from the Central pool. The purchase of power from outside the Central pool cost more because of the increase in prices effected by the Centre for naptha and diesel, he added.