COIMBATORE: The State government would consider reducing demand and fixed charges in the proposed power tariff hike for MSMEs, said Electricity Minister V Senthilbalaji on Tuesday.
However, they would be no change in the proposed hike for any other categories, including the domestic sector, he added.
This came after the small industries appealed to the government to reduce the demand and fixed charges, which they felt were high. “The government will definitely consider their request for reduction. In a day or two, the tariff will be finalised and submitted before the Tamil Nadu Electricity Regulatory Commission (TNERC),” he told the media after reviewing the security arrangements in view of Chief Minister MK Stalin’s visit to Coimbatore.
To a query on demand from MSMEs for concessions in tariff, the Minister ruled it out stating that the power utility was not in a position to give any concessions due to mounting debts.
As per the proposed hike for low-tension industries, tariff category III-B has been hiked from Rs 6.35 to Rs 7.50 per unit. Also, the industrial consumers who were paying a fixed charge of Rs 35 per month would be forced to pay Rs 100 per kilowatt per month for up to 50 kW load, Rs 325 per kW per month for 50-100 kW and Rs 600 per kW per month for above 100 kW.
The low-tension industrial consumers who were paying fixed charges per connection per month basis would be charged fixed charges per kW per month like the HT consumers.
The MSMEs have been demanding to keep the tariff hike in abeyance for two years. “It has been the MSMEs’ demand to put off power tariff hikes to save the industrial sector from destruction. The amount to be reduced on fixed and demand charges will be known only if the government makes a clear announcement,” said J James, president, Tamil Nadu Association of Cottage and Micro Industries (TACT).
Industry bodies and public have been vehemently opposing the tariff hike during the hearings held in Chennai, Coimbatore and Madurai over the tariff petition filed by Tamil Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation Ltd (Tangedco), Tamil Nadu Transmission Corporation Ltd (Tantransco) and State Load Despatch Centre (SLDC).