Special Correspondent

Demands to ensure that the shortage burden is equally shared

Government asked to assist in installation of solar power generation system

Association requests for continuous supply of power for five days at a stretch in a week

VELLORE: The Vellore District Small & Tiny Industries Association (VEDSTIA) has urged the Tamil Nadu Government to declare an official power cut so that the consumers of both high-tension (HT) and low-tension (LT) electricity would be charged only for the actual usage.

In a memorandum addressed to Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi, R. Amirthakatesan, president, VEDSTIA said that in view of the prevailing load shedding, the HT consumers were unable to utilise the minimum demand while the power consumed by small and tiny industries who are LT consumers was below the minimum units stipulated by the Tamil Nadu Electricity Board. But, in the absence of an official declaration of power cut by the TNEB, the HT and LT industrial consumers were charged for the minimum demand and units stipulated, though they were unable to utilise the minimum power owing to load-shedding.

If power cuts were officially declared, the TNEB would be charging the consumers only for their actual usage of power. Since the power factor has come down due to frequent cuts, the association requested the TNEB to grant waiver of the penalty for lower power factor to the small scale and micro industries.

The VEDSTIA requested the government to ensure continuous supply of power for five days at a stretch in a week and a two-days-in-a-week power holiday to the foundry, leather finishing, shoe upper, engineering and power plant fabricating equipment industries in the small-scale and micro industry sector, which needed continuous power supply. It also requested the government to arrange for supply of diesel to the above industries, based on their capacity, and link them to the nearest diesel bunks.

The association requested the government to ensure that the power shortage burden was equally shared amongst all the consumers, irrespective of their geographical or demographical spread in Tamil Nadu.

It said that all major industrial consumers including multinational corporations who have commenced production mostly during the last two years should be told to use their own captive power generation, and that all major industries above five MVA capacity which proposed to start production shortly should be asked to arrange for their own power generation units till the power position in the state improved.

It urged the public sector oil units not to implement the differential pricing of diesel and ensure adequate supplies at market price.

The VEDSTIA requested the government to assist industrial consumers to install solar power generation system up to a capacity of one MW and provide the necessary technology to them. It suggested that out of the capital cost of the installation of solar system, 80 per cent could be given as grant from the Centre and Tamil Nadu governments, while the beneficiaries could contribute the balance 20 per cent by availing bank loans. It urged the government to arrange for loan at a low interest ranging from four to six percent for installing the solar system.

The association requested the government to arrange for rescheduling of the term loan instalments of the small and micro enterprises with a moratorium of 18 months and waiver of interest in view of the financial crisis faced by them on account of their inability to reach 100 percent production.

Defer VAT payment

It also urged the government to defer the payment of value added tax for 18 months without any interest to the above units.

It wanted the government to incorporate necessary changes in the Labour Act by allowing the industries to enforce the ‘no work no pay’ rule for the days when the units were not functioning owing to load shedding, and to allow the companies to engaged the workers during the deferred hours according to the availability of power. The association also requested the government not to enforce peak hour restriction for micro and small industries.

The association appealed to the Chief Minister to take the above steps in order to save the small-scale and micro industries from closure due to power shortage.