Public mentally prepared for electricity tariff hike: Senthilbalaji

“TNERC conducted a public hearing on the tariff hike. It received petitions, including emails, opposing the hike from 7,338 people out of the total consumer base of 3.5 crore. This itself shows the reality. Some people are raking up the issue for political reasons,” the minister told reporters after holding a review meeting with Chennai North Circle and local MLAs.
Electricity Minister V Senthilbalaji
Electricity Minister V Senthilbalaji

CHENNAI: Electricity Minister V Senthilbalaji on Wednesday claimed that the public has accepted the reasonable tariff hike and only 7,338 people out of the 3.5 crore consumers opposed it during the public hearing conducted by the Tamil Nadu Electricity Regulatory Commission.

“TNERC conducted a public hearing on the tariff hike. It received petitions, including emails, opposing the hike from 7,338 people out of the total consumer base of 3.5 crore. This itself shows the reality. Some people are raking up the issue for political reasons,” the minister told reporters after holding a review meeting with Chennai North Circle and local MLAs.

The Minister said that if the people are affected by it, they would have conveyed it. “Since it is a reasonable hike, people are prepared for it mentally,” he claimed. Following the 7,338 complaints received, including those of the MSME sector which sought a reduction of the fixed charges, he said that after taking to the notice of the chief minister, Tangedco rolled back the proposed fixed charges hike to the tune of Rs 3,217 crore.

On the AIADMK’s protest against the tariff hike on September 16, he said that they had hiked the power tariff for the MSME by 61 per cent during their rule when compared to a 23 per cent increase.

To a question on its ally CPM's opposition to the tariff hike, he said that despite the recent tariff hike, the electricity charges in the State are the cheapest across the country. “When compared to Kerala’s electricity tariff, Tamil Nadu’s charges are much cheaper. CPM state secretary should have compared our tariff with Kerala before opposing it,” he said.

He continued that the government would provide an additional subsidy of Rs 4,000 cr apart from Rs 9,600 crore released last year.

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