Farmers and textile mills here have expressed disappointment over the tariff order issued by the Tamil Nadu Electricity Regulatory Commission (TNERC) on June 20.

Opposing the hike in tariff, State president of Tamizhaga Vivasayigal Sangham M. R. Sivasamy told The Hindu on Saturday that there is no free power to anyone now. Farmers are getting free power supply because the State government is paying the charges.

If the subsidy requirement keeps on increasing and the government is unable to bear it in future, farmers might have to pay the tariff.

The TNERC hiked the subsidy quantum only for agricultural and hut connections.

When there was power shortage, farms had supply only for three hours a day.

Even now, there is power cut for about an hour. One of the main demands of the farmers’ association was amendment to the electricity Act so that State governments could provide free power supply to agricultural connections if they want to, Mr. Sivasamy said. This would be reiterated at the annual meeting of the association next month.

Southern India Mills’ Association chairman S. Dinakaran said in a release that the association welcomed the TNERC order with regard to reduction of wheeling charges. However, it has appealed to the commission to roll back the cross subsidy surcharge for High Tension (HT) consumers.

These consumers were purchasing third party power on a 24-hour basis as power generation using diesel generators was expensive. Increase in cross subsidy surcharge would hit the manufacturing units, he said.