Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh today ruled out rolling back the decision to provide power to the industry at the subsidised rate of Rs 5 per unit.
Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh today ruled out rolling back the decision to provide power to the industry at the subsidised rate of Rs 5 per unit. The decision has already been taken by the Congress government in the state and ratified by the cabinet, he said, putting to rest apprehensions of any change in this regard. In a statement issued here, the chief minister said the notification on the industrial power subsidy had been slightly delayed only to give the Department of Industries time to resolve some critical issues faced by the industry on account of the newly imposed fixed power tariff. The two-part power tariff structure announced by Punjab State Electricity Regulatory Commission (PSERC) would prevent the benefits of the subsidy from reaching the bulk industrial power consumers, such as the steel industry and the large units with co-generation capacities, he said.
Singh added that he had received various representations from the industry seeking government intervention to minimise the adverse effect of the fixed tariff. Taking cognisance of these and some other problems faced by the industry, the chief minister said he had directed the Chief Secretary, Additional Chief Secretary (Power), Chairman PSPCL and Secretary, Industries to work out the modalities, in consultation with representatives of industry, to resolve the matter.
The chief minister stressed that the industrial subsidy was a sacrosanct promise of his government and a necessity to boost industrial development. “How can the government even think of retracting a promise which is so crucial to bringing the state back on the path of industrial and economic revival?” he asked. Dismissing the apprehensions expressed by a section of the industrialists on this count as totally baseless, the chief minister pointed out that he had been personally engaged with the industry over the past nine months to invite them to invest in Punjab.