GUWAHATI, Aug 7 - The Assam Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC) today alleged that there is a conspiracy hatched by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led governments both in the State and at the Centre to privatise the State�s power utilities. Besides, in the name of implementing the Goods and Services Tax (GST), they have made electricity a luxury item, alleged the APCC.
In a statement here, the party has stated that an overburdened bureaucrat has been made chairman of the Assam State Electricity Board (ASEB), Assam Power Distribution Company (APDCL) and Assam Power Generation Corporation Ltd. Moreover, the crucial post of Member Technical of the Board has been kept vacant.
The Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) guidelines allow anyone appointed chairman of the power utilities to hold the post for a minimum two-year term. But, in the power sector here, the incumbents of the posts of chairmen of the power utilities have been changed on three occasions over the last one year. This has made the power utilities more infirm and they are drawing flak for their inefficiency, said the APCC.
In the name of implementing the GST, the BJP-led Central government has imposed the highest 28 per cent tax on electrical wires and cables, which is equivalent to that imposed on the luxury items. With this, electricity has also been made a luxury item. This will surely affect rural electrification projects, said the APCC.
It also alleged that though the procuring cost of per unit of power of the APDCL is Rs 2, it is selling power at the rate of Rs 7.56 per unit to its consumers, the APCC said and wondered as to how a huge quantity of power in the State could get lost in transit, for which the consumers are made to pay Rs 4 extra for each of the units of power they consume.