The State government should immediately withdraw the proposal submitted to the Tamil Nadu Electricity Regulatory Commission (TNERC) seeking approval to hike the electricity tariff, said Tamil Nadu Chamber of Commerce and Industry President N. Jagatheesan here on Tuesday.
In a press release, he has stated that the government had cited that there was no option but to increase the tariff on residential, commercial and industrial establishments due to increase in expenditure on pensioners, interest on loans availed by the electricity department in the previous regime and the expenditure of the TANGEDCO as a whole had increased so much in the last ten years.
In the last two years, the trade and industrial activities in Tamil Nadu had been badly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown. Thousands of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) had collapsed. Lakhs of workers had lost their jobs. It had been very difficult to move on with their daily lives.
Though the trade, commercial establishments and industrial units were now recovering slowly, the government should not increase the power tariff in such a fashion as it would further affect the sector and the general public.
The president said that it was unfair that the electricity tariff hike proposal had been increased on an average of 20% to a maximum of 52%. There was no denying that the increase in the debt burden of the electricity board was due to unplanned activity such as non-implementation of power projects properly, purchase of power from the outside market at a higher price, increase in project costs as power generation projects were not executed and completed within the stipulated time, increased interest on the borrowed loan and coal purchased at a higher price from abroad.
Hence, the government should consider dropping the proposal submitted to the TNERC.