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Power tariff hiked in Karnataka, Congress protests

Power Tariff Hiked In Karnataka Congress Protests 1
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Bengaluru: The Karnataka electricity regulator on Wednesday increased the power tariff by 30 paise per unit to consumers across the board for fiscal 2021-22, with effect from April 1.

The opposition Congress opposed the hike and termed it as a “BJP shock” to the people in the state.

“The Karnataka Electricity Regulatory Commission (KERC) has approved an average tariff increase of 30 paise per unit for financial year 2021-22,” the KERC said in a statement here.

The electricity supply companies had, however, sought an average increase of Rs 1.35 per unit.

“The revised tariff is an average increase of 3.84 per cent against 17.31 per cent sought by the power distributors (Escoms),” said the regulator.

Protesting the hike, Congress leader Siddaramaiah said the increase in power tariff would be disastrous for everyone, from common man to industries, which have been suffering due to the pandemic.

“Karnataka has surplus power and yet (the) BJP government continues to purchase electricity from the central grid, Adani and others at a higher cost, the price for which our people have to pay,” said Siddaramaiah in a tweet.

Though the revised tariff will be effective retrospectively from April 1, the regulator said the arrears for April and May would be recovered during October-November without interest to soften the burden on consumers reeling under the Covid-induced lockdown in the state.

“The increase in tariff is necessitated due to recovery of regulatory assets created as per the orders of the Appellate Tribunal for Electricity on October 5, 2020,” it said.

The regulator also cited the increase in the cost of operation, maintenance and borrowings for capital expenditure by the escoms.

“In order to enable the escoms to supply electricity, which is the basic need of society, the increase in the tariff has become inevitable,” it added.

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