Worried industrialists fail to get audience with CM

The power tariff hike on October 19 — ranging from 35 to 60 per cent for different industries — has allegedly made several industrial units financially unsustainable. Representatives of various industries have been trying to meet Akhilesh for a month now, but in vain

For more than a month after the Uttar Pradesh State Electricity Regulatory Commission (UPSERC) ordered a steep hike in power tariff for industrial consumers, the representatives of small and medium industries under the banner of Indian Industries Association (IIA) have been trying to meet Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, but in vain.

The IIA members say that the tariff hike on October 19, which came after three years but ranged from 35 to 60 per cent for different industries, has suddenly jacked up their production cost, making several industrial units financially unsustainable. Also, it has made industrial power in UP costliest in the region.

GC Chaturvedi, former president of IIA and president of the Joint Action Committee (JAC) formed to protest the power tariff hike, said the government should ask the UPSERC to review the hike.

The IIA is demanding that the demand charges, which have been increased from Rs 115 to Rs 225 per kilowatt should be reversed, and the provision of minimum charges should be abolished as no other state in India charges the industry minimum charges along with demand charges.

Besides, the electricity duty, which has been increased from 9 paise per unit to 7.5 per cent of the total bill, should be reversed as it has caused a "steep" hike of more than 500 per cent in their power bills.

DS Verma, Executive Director of IIA, said the increase in the demand charges will affect several industrial units, which cannot use the total electricity they have applied for, but they will have to pay the increased demand charges.

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