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Power tariff hike will drive away industries from State, warns TASMA

Minister Senthilbalaji on Wednesday said that the HT industries tariff was proposed to be hiked by mere Rs 0.40 per unit and there was no opposition from the industries.

CHENNAI: Even as the power minister played down the electricity charges hike to high tension industries, the industrial consumers said that their average billing rate per unit would go up by 30 per cent from the existing Rs 8.95 per unit to Rs 11.66 per unit under the proposed tariff hike as against the actual cost of supply of Rs 9.54 per unit. Besides, Tangedco has proposed to increase the peak hour duration to eight hours from six hours along with hiking the peak hour charges to 25 per cent from 20 per cent.

For the HT industries, Tangedco has proposed a tariff hike of Rs 0.40 per unit from Rs 6.35 per unit to Rs 6.75 per unit while the demand charges were increased from Rs 350 to Rs 600 per KVA per month.

Minister Senthilbalaji on Wednesday said that the HT industries tariff was proposed to be hiked by mere Rs 0.40 per unit and there was no opposition from the industries.

If the proposed tariff hike and open access charges come into effect, it will drive away most of the industries from the state and no new investment will happen in respect of some of the industries operating on a single shift basis, said Dr K Venkatachalam, chief advisor of the Tamil Nadu Spinning Mills Association (TASMA).

He said that the demand charges being collected on the KVA basis whether the HT consumer work throughout the day or a single shift, they have to pay on a monthly basis for 24X7.

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Venkatachalam said that the licensee is violating the basic fundamental of the Electricity Act 2003 by steeply hiking open access charges. “The proposed hike in charges makes procuring power from the third party or power exchanges unviable,” he said, adding that the cross-subsidy surcharge for the power procured from the third party or exchange has been hiked from Rs 1.67 per unit under the existing tariff to Rs 2.33 per unit in the proposed tariff. The wheeling charges have also increased from Rs 0.2105 per unit to Rs 1.52 per unit. The transmission charges also increased.

T Nalangilli, vice president of the Ambattur Industrial Estate Manufacturers Association said the tariff hike has been proposed at a time when the manufacturing industries are slowly limping back from the impact of Covid-19.

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Federation of Tamil Nadu Rice Mills Owners’ and Paddy - Rice Dealers Association secretary AC Mohan said that they are going to appeal to the TNERC to exempt the rice mills from being an agro-based industry from the present tariff hike as it would result in the hike of the retail price of rice. “Already the price of rice has gone up by Rs 3 to Rs 4 per kg due to the GST. If the power tariff is also hiked, it will result in a further increase in the rice price,” he said,

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