Food product manufacturers hit hard by power cuts

The Tamil Nadu Foodgrains Merchants Association has urged the State Government to distribute the available power equally across the State without discrimination.

In a memorandum to the Electricity Minister, Natham R. Viswanathan, association president S.P. Jeyapragasam said that many food product manufacturing units such as rice and dhal mills, oil refineries, masala powder makers in the small and medium sector were located in the Tiruthani-Kanyakumari belt and also between Coimbatore and Ramanathapuram. All these units have been hit hard by the power crisis, which had forced them to use generators, which was steeply driving up production costs following diesel tariff hike.

As a result, the small units were unable to compete with their counterparts in Chennai, which faced only an hour of load shedding even as the rest of the State was enduring 12 to 16 hours of load shedding a day.

Further, the manufacturers were also forced to pay wages to idling labourers and were unable to deliver their orders as per schedule.

If the situation were to be allowed to fester much longer, the association warned that many units would close down and thousands of workers would be thrown out of employment.

It urged the State Government to implement steps on a ‘war footing’ to tackle the power crisis.

Separately, a delegation from the association led by Mr. Jeyapragasam met the Minister for Commercial Taxes P.V. Ramana, Commercial Taxes Secretary Sunil Paliwal and Commercial Taxes Commissioner K. Manivasan in Chennai recently and urged them to exempt registered traders from submission of the auditors report in form WW for the financial year 2011-12