GUWAHATI, Nov 25 � The Joint Council of Trade Unions, Assam has expressed strong resentment at the proposed hike in power tariff in the State and has called for a review of the decision.
�The hike ranges from seven to 18 per cent and is too steep for the common consumers to bear. In the last 3-4 years power tariff in the State was increased several times, imposing considerable burden on the common power consumers. Yet no worthwhile steps were taken by the power authorities to improve the quality of service and ensure uninterrupted power supply to consumers,� the Joint Council said in a statement.
It added that people of the State continue to reel under frequent load-shedding.
�The much hyped power sector reforms proved to be a damp squib. The Power Minister of the present State government has failed miserably on every count. Instead of addressing seriously the problem of power thefts and the unrealised bills from big defaulters that include even various departments of the State government itself, the government preferred to heap the burden on the already battered shoulders of the common consumers,� the Council said.
It said that there is a reason to believe that such frequent and steep hike is aimed at alluring the private capital in the power sector and is a prelude to complete privatisation of the power sector in the State.
�Such a huge hike in power tariff will also create serious difficulty for small and medium industries of the State and will intensify the problem of economic backwardness of an already beleaguered State.