GUWAHATI, Feb 24 - The State unit of North Eastern Small Scale Industries Association (NESSIA) has urged the Assam Government to decrease VAT rate on LED bulbs/tubes, etc., from 14.5 per cent to two per cent VAT in the greater interest of the electricity consumers.
Addressing a press conference here today, NESSIA State president Sailen Baruah said that power consumption in Assam is increasing day by day and is expected to cross 1,600 MW by 2015-2016.
�But the available power from all generating units in Assam is about 1,195 MW, resulting in a shortage of 200 MW daily. Hence, conservation of power is urgently needed to overcome the present power crisis. This can be resolved by phase-wise replacement of incandescent (simple bulb) and CFL by LED bulbs and tubelights, which can save at least 80-85 per cent power,� he said.
Baruah added that LED bulbs, tubelights, ceiling fans and accessories are items of special importance in view of their high energy saving mechanism which saves 80-85 per cent energy (power consumed is 0.014 KWH) compared to simple lamps and saves 50 per cent energy (power consumed is 0.007 KWH) over CFL light. LED is also a green energy device with low radiation, high power factor (HPF >.9), and high LED life (50000Hrs). Beside, LED bulb is not easily breakable unlike other simple bulbs.
Baruah said that it is unfortunate that the high energy conserving items saving nearly 80-85 per cent energy are not included in Schedule-II whereas the lesser energy saving CFL items are included in Schedule-II even if they save only about 45 per cent energy compared to GLS lamps/ordinary bulbs.
�In Assam, VAT rate on LED lights is 14.5 per cent, while VAT rate on CFL is 5 per cent in spite of the fact that 50 per cent more energy is saved by LED over CFL, and 80 per cent energy is saved over ordinary bulbs,� Baruah said.
In several other leading states, VAT rates on LED bulbs and tubelights, etc., are much lower, i.e., five per cent and two per cent. Rajasthan decreased VAT rate on LED bulbs and tubelights to two per cent from March 9, 2015, while Haryana decreased it to five per cent from June 15, 2015. Delhi had also decreased it to five per cent on March 5, 2014.
�Unless the Assam Government comes forward to reduce VAT rate on LED bulbs/tubes, etc., from 14.5 per cent to two per cent, it will be difficult for the consumers to replace their ordinary bulbs/CFLs etc., and save energy and reduce their power bills. Consumers have to pay an additional Rs 43.50 per bulb on VAT for procurement of a bulb of Rs 300, whereas at the same time consumers in other states pay only Rs 6.00 on two per cent VAT rate for the same bulb of Rs 300,� Baruah said.
Welcoming the Assam Government�s drive to supply two subsidised 7-watt LED bulbs per electricity consumer, the NESSIA said that it would make much more impact if the 38 lakh power consumers are given at least four LED bulbs/tubes per consumer.
�This will be possible only with the support of the State government and the finance department. Reduce VAT rate to two per cent for LED bulbs and tubelights so that those can be easily procured by the consumer,� it said.
NESSIA has also taken a few initiatives to popularise the use of LED bulbs and also for easy repair of the bulbs at a nominal cost. �We are providing easy training for local boys and girls from all over Assam on skill development including quality control, and assembling of repaired LED bulbs for reuse by consumers,� it said.