CHENNAI: The Micro, Small and Medium-scale Enterprises (MSMEs) in Coimbatore to down shutters for a day on November 25 in protest against the steep increase in the electricity charges.
The protest by the manufacturing sectors has come amid the State government announcing additional subsidies to reduce the peak hour charges from 25 per cent to 15 per cent.
J James, president of Tamil Nadu Association of Cottage and Micro Enterprises, Coimbatore said that Tangedco should roll back the hike in the fixed charges and peak charges for the LT industries.
Under the old tariff, the fixed charges for the MSME units were collected at Rs 35 a month/KW. In the revised tariff order, the fixed charges up to 50 KW is Rs 75 per KW per month and above 51 KW to 112 KW is Rs 150/KW/month. “In Coimbatore, most of the MSME sectors were run from rented premises. The owners had taken a power load of 100 KW and split it among the manufacturing units. For a 100 KW load, we were forced to pay a fixed charge of Rs 150 per KW. This has led to the steep increase in the electricity charges,” he said.
James, one of the coordinators for the Federation of Coimbatore Industrial Associations, said that peak hour charges for consumption from 6 am to 10 am and 6 pm to 10 pm were introduced for LT connections including MSMEs. “Without fixing the time of the day meters to calculate the peak hour consumption, the Tangedco is collecting 15 per cent extra charges as peak hour charge for 20 per cent of the total consumption. It is totally unacceptable. Most of the MSME units operate between 9 am and 6 pm peak,” he said. Due to the steep increase in the fixed charges and introduction of the peak hour charges, the MSMEs were paying as much as Rs 15 per unit, he said, demanding rollback of the fixed charges hike and scrapping of the peak hour charges.
The Federation comprises 18 MSME associations and all the member units of these associations would down shutters on November 25. The owners and workers would stage a fast here on the same day.