GUWAHATI, Feb 2 - The North Eastern Small Scale Industries Association (NESSIA) has expressed grave concern over the proposal of the Assam Power Distribution Company Ltd (APDCL) for another power tariff hike for all categories of consumers to meet additional revenue requirement for the financial year 2016-17 and 2017-18.
NESSIA State president Sailen Baruah, after submitting its objection petition to the Assam Electricity Regulatory Commission (AERC), said at a meeting of MSME entrepreneurs and domestic consumers called for the purpose at Industrial Estate Bamunimaidam that the move was unwarranted and hit the common man and entrepreneurs adversely.
The APDCL had on December 1 proposed an increase of 0.59 paise/unit as fuel and power purchase price adjustment for all consumers.
�The NESSIA urges the AERC to scrap such proposal of the APDCL. Any further increase in power tariff will sound the death knell for the micro sector and small industries having connecting load up to 50 KVA in the State,� Baruah said.
For domestic sector consumers having connection up to 5 KW, the company has proposed Rs 40 per KW/month as fixed charge on connected load against the existing Rs 30 per KW per month, which means a consumer of 5 KW connection will have to pay Rs 40 KW per month into 5 KW i.e., Rs 200 per month against Rs 150 per month, he said.
�Accordingly, on fixed charge industries up to 50 KVA, connection, from Rs 40 to 45 per KW/month would adversely affect the functioning of small industries. An industry with connected load up to 50 KVA now paying Rs 2,000 per month on fixed charge will have to pay Rs 2,500 per month on fixed charge,� he said.
Pointing out that the majority of the industries in the State being small-scale ones covering connected load up to the range 50 KVA and their activities limited to day hours only between 8 am to 5 pm, the NESSIA reasoned that as those industries utilised power from APDCL for eight hours in a day only and refrain from using power during the rest of the hours in view of the nature of their operational activities.
Besides, Baruah added, peak load hour restriction, holiday, weekly rest and other factors ensure that small sector industries up to 50 KVA load utilise power hardly 22 days a month on an 8-hour daily basis.
�But industries are paying fixed charge on actual connected load without utilising fully the power and thereby fixed charge to be calculated on actual days of power supply to the industries,� he said.
The NESSIA urged Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal to intervene in the matter in the greater interest of the small industries and also suggested the APDCL to purchase more power at cheaper rates to improve the present and future power scenario. It further urged the APDCL to reduce its transmission and distribution losses besides taking steps to realise huge amounts of outstanding power bills from defaulters including government departments and establishments.