Situation will worsen if latest hike is implemented: FAPCCI
Over 6,000 industrial units have become non-performing assets (NPAs) and two lakh workers lost employment due to the power crisis that hit the State in the last one-and-a-half years.
The situation was likely to worsen if the latest power tariff hike for industrial consumers in the range of 24 to 60 per cent was implemented, warned the Federation of Andhra Pradesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FAPCCI).
The industry body’s chairman Devendra Surana and leaders of sectoral organisations told a press conference here on Monday that the hike was 24 to 40 per cent for small and medium enterprises and 60 per cent for high tension consumers in the peak load category. Over all, the proposed industrial tariff was 60 per cent higher than cost of service against 20 per cent recommended by the National Tariff Policy.
Mr. Surana said the burden of fuel surcharge adjustment (FSA) was more on industry because of reduction in metered sales and increase in agricultural sales. As a result, there was no change in fuel cost but the industry was burdened with an FSA of 64 paise a unit.
The government proposed a subsidy of only Rs. 5,700 crore for supplies to an extent of Rs. 14,866 crore for free power to agriculture in 2013-14. The shortfall was almost Rs. 5,189 crore. When the industry was not in a position to bear regular cost, how could it afford subsidy?, he asked.
Mr. Surana also said though the power shortage in the State was 10 to 18 per cent, the industry was subjected to a cut of 50 per cent in the last 18 months. The manufacturing in the State had come down by 11.5 per cent in last year due to the crisis.
Mr. Suresh Kumar Singh, president of the local chapter of steel manufacturers association, said only 35 per cent of power was available to steel industry. He narrated his own case of a penalty of Rs. 70 lakh raised against a normal bill of Rs 2 crore for his 10 MW connection. Such penalties were wrongly calculated and thrust on industry in February.