CM to review power hike
Relief likely for those drawing upto 100 units Tirupati: Chief Minister N.Kiran Kumar Reddy on Sunday assured the people that there would be no...
Relief likely for those drawing upto 100 units Tirupati: Chief Minister N.Kiran Kumar Reddy on Sunday assured the people that there would be no financial burden on the poorer section on account of hike in power tariff. "Final decision will be taken only after a thorough study of the recommendations of AP Electricity Regulatory Commission, most probably by April 4 or 5. ERC is a statutory body and the government would study its recommendations," he said. The Chief Minister told media persons in his native village Kalikiri on Sunday that he would hold a review meeting with the higher officials on these recommendations and orders of APERC before taking a final decision. He said that he was firm on safeguarding the welfare of the poor. Top officials in the Energy Department in Hyderabad also said that the government was keen on intervening in the issue to insulate the lower middle classes, whose consumption is up to 100 units, from the power tariff shock. Some 30 lakh consumers come in this (second slab) category in the state. Earlier also though the APERC had recommended a tariff hike, the State Government did not implement it in full, reducing the tariff rates considerably. The government had since been paying the power bills on behalf of the poor in the name of subsidy, the Chief Minister said. The APERC in its latest order exempted consumers drawing up to 50 units from excess levy. The government was collecting only Rs 1.45 per unit as against the cost of production of Rs 5.20 per unit, he said. In the last year's budget the allocation was Rs 5500 crore towards the electricity subsidy and it has increased to Rs 5700 crore this year. The Chief Minister said that he can't take a final decision before going through the fresh recommendations thoroughly. "It is very important to know which section of the people is mostly affected by these recommendations," he added. About 50 per cent of total household connections consume power below 50 units and there was no hike for them. He said, "The Congress is keen on the welfare of the people. Andhra Pradesh is ahead of all Congress-ruled states in extending welfare measures." The government was keen on intervening in the issue to insulate the lower middle classes, whose consumption is up to 100 units, from the power tariff shock. Some 30 lakh consumers come in this category