TAMIL NADU

KPCC puts forward six-point proposal

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM OCT. 5. The day-long Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee executive meeting today put forward a six-point proposal for the consideration of the UDF sub-committee to tackle the current crisis in the power sector.

But the KPCC executive did not commit itself to the inevitability of a hike in electricity tariff, leaving it to the UDF and the Government to work out the details, subject to the condition that power sector reforms should not end up as a burden to low-income groups and `ordinary families'.

The proposals include a system of one-time settlement for huge power tariff defaulters, revival of hydro-electric projects which have Central clearance but work could not commence owing to technical problems, power sector reforms intended to increase the revenue of the KSEB, a legislation, if necessary, to tackle power theft, urgent steps to replace faulty meters and promotion of wind, biogas and lignite-based power projects.

The executive appeared too cautious in its response towards the crisis in the power sector. Given the background under which the recent tariff hike was withdrawn, the party obviously did not want to take the burden of the controversies relating to the power sector, including reforms. The KPCC president, K. Muraleedharan, said the KPCC executive had adopted a resolution urging the Government and the UDF to take appropriate decisions to save the power sector, which had fallen into an abyss owing to the reckless policies followed by the LDF.

However, he refused to state whether the KPCC felt that the power tariff hike was inevitable. ``This is a major issue and we feel that decisions should be taken carefully. Ours is a coalition Government and decisions would have to be taken in consultations with the coalition partners,'' he added.

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