Chandigarh, June 2, 2020 (Yes Punjab News)
The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) today accused the Congress government of committing a fraud against Punjabis by going for a sleight of hand exercise under which a paltry superficial decrease in power tariff was negated immediately by an increase in fixed charges for all domestic categories.
Terming the latest tariff order announced by the Regulatory Authority on the recommendations of the State government as an attempt to befool the people, the SAD rejected it outrightly and demanded power bills for the entire period of the lockdown of general consumers be reduced by 50 per cent besides calling for total waiver of all bills served on Scheduled Caste and Backward Caste consumers during this period.
In a statement here, senior party leader and mp Balwinder Singh Bhundur said it was shocking that even at such a time of crisis the Congress government was practicing skullduggery with the people.
“On the one hand it is trying to give an impression that it has reduced the domestic power tariff by .25 to .50 paisa per unit but simultaneously it has increased fixed charges across all domestic categories from Rs 15 to Rs 30 per month to negate this so called benefit completely”. He said moreover this eyewash exercise came after 18 repeated power hikes in the State in the last three years taking the average domestic tariff from Rs 5.50 per unit during SAD-BJP tenure to more than Rs 8 per unit.
Mr Bhundur said the industry had also been tricked in a similar manner. “First the industrial sector was promised power at a landing cost of Rs 5 per unit but was charged between Rs 8 to Rs 8.50 per unit. Now during lockdown the industry was told that fixed charges applicable during closure of units would be waived off.
This is yet to take place. The SAD expressed solidarity with the industrial sector and demands that both promises be implemented immediately to make an economic revival possible in the State”.
The Rajya Sabha mp said the power tariff had been increased by more than 30 per cent since the Congress government came into power in 2017. He said this had created an unbearable burden on the common man and had made Punjab a most unfavourable destination for investment.
He said simultaneously the Scheduled Caste population, which was give partial free power by S Parkash Singh Badal, had been worst hit with the Congress government changing norms to virtually do away with this facility. He said due to this the SC population was being served highly inflated bills which they were unable to deposit.
Asking the government not to transfer its inefficiencies to the people, Mr Bhundur said the power sector had also been affected by the Rs 4300 crore power scam which had been brushed under the carpet. “This the reason why the common man and the industrial sector is being levied power rates which are among the highest in the country”, Mr Bhundur said adding the SAD would come up with an agitation plan to force the government to provide relief to the people.