Where’s subsidised power tariff, ask industrialists
Chandigarh: After the two-part power tariff — fixed cost and variable cost — charged from industrial consumers from April this year, the Punjab Government’s promise of providing power at Rs 5 per unit remains unfulfilled.Industrial consumers across the state are complaining that one part of the tariff (variable cost) is capped at Rs 5 per unit, while they have to pay the fixed cost separately, which takes the power tariff to an average of Rs 8 to Rs 13 per unit. What is making matters difficult for them is that the lesser they run their industrial unit, higher is the power tariff per unit that they are forced to pay.The Tribune has copies of bills issued to some industrial houses after the new tariff order was announced, where per unit tariff works out to be between Rs 10 and Rs 13. The owners of these units rue that the high tariff is mainly on account of the fixed charges levied on them. “The loads sanctioned by Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) are based on the time when the industries in Punjab were running at their optimum capacity. But the slowdown has hit the Punjab industry hard and the units are running at just 50-60 per cent of their capacities. However, power traiff is now based on the total load of a unit (varying between Rs 75 and Rs 280 per kilovolt ampere). So even if part of the load is being used, the industry has to pay for the entire sanctioned load,” said an industrialist in Mohali.