CHENNAI: Tamil Nadu Vanigar Sangankalin Peramaippu president AM Vikramaraja has written to the electricity minister V Senthilbalaji opposing the proposed steep hike in the electricity charges and asked him to create a separate low tension category for small and micro traders from the commercial tariff.
In a letter to the minister, Vikramaraja said that TANGEDCO has categorised various consumers in the different tariff categories like domestic, commercial, industries, agriculture, manufacturing and education but nowhere there is a mention of the small and micro traders.
“The union government last year allowed the small and micro retail traders to get the MSME certificate. It was an initiative to encourage small and micro traders. The tariff levied on the retail traders under the commercial category is much more than big industries, particularly Information Technology companies, ” he said.
The trader's body chief demanded that the small and micro traders be brought under a separate tariff category from the existing Low-Tension V with reduced and subsidised tariffs. He also urged the government to implement its poll promise of monthly billing instead of a bi-monthly system and also to provide 100 free units of power every month instead of bi-monthly.
Small retail traders are upset over clubbing them alongside commercial establishments, malls, multiplex cinemas and supermarkets to collect commercial tariffs. TANGEDCO has proposed to increase the commercial tariff for less than 100 units consumption at Rs 6 per unit and above 100 units at Rs 9.50 per unit from Rs 5 per unit and Rs 8.05 per unit respectively.