Consumer society wants 10 pc cut in electricity bill

Just days after Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi spoke about ushering in tax reforms, a consumer body in the state wrote to the state government on Wednesday suggesting it to reduce electricity duty on residential consumers, which is one of the highest in the country.

In a letter written to state Minister for Energy Saurabh Patel, the city-based Consumer Education and Research Society (CERS) pointed out that the 15 per cent electricity duty imposed on the total bill of residential consumers in Gujarat was higher compared to states like Karnataka (5%), Delhi (5%), Uttar Pradesh (5%), Kerala (7%) and Punjab (13%). However, the duty in Gujarat is equivalent to the one in Maharashtra (15%).

"The high electricity duty charged at ad valorem basis on total bill puts heavy burden on consumers...The duty charged on ad valorem basis covers Fixed/Demand Charges, FPPPA Charges, Penalty and other Miscellaneous Charges which is not at all justified. We therefore request you (Sir) to reduce duty on Residential Consumers," KK Bajaj, chief general manager of CERS, said in the letter to the minister. CERS requested the government to reduce the electricity duty to 10% or charge on consumption basis of 20 paise per unit from April 1, 2014.

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