GUWAHATI, Aug 19 � With power tariff expected to go up on account of rise in gas and coal prices and increase in input costs, the State government today announced a Rs 200-crore subsidy scheme which will help 26 lakh families across Assam.
Power Minister Pradyut Bordoloi told reporters here today that the below poverty line (BPL) families will be offered a rebate of Rs 1.10 per unit up to a maximum consumption of 30 units every month, while it will be 70 paise a unit for up to 120 units a month for the above poverty line (APL) Domestic A category customers.
�The State government will give Rs 200 crore this fiscal to the Assam Power Distribution Company Ltd (APDCL) to cover the subsidy. The subsidy scheme is to help the common households and not for higher end users,� Bordoloi said.
He said 10 lakh BPL and 16 lakh APL customers would be covered by the subsidy.
Households with loads of up to five kilowatt would be entitled to the subsidy regime. The Minister said this is the first time in the State�s history that such a subsidy scheme has been introduced to cushion the burden of any tariff hike on domestic consumers.
He said that following the reform in the power sector since 2005, the State government has no role in fixing the tariff, which is taken care of by the Assam Electricity Regulatory Commission (AERC).
The APDCL had earlier this year sought a tariff revision from the AERC citing rise in input costs.
Bordoloi accepted that input costs have gone up and said that while natural gas prices have gone up by 165 per cent during past two years, the price of coal used for generating electricity has also risen by 85-150 per cent during this period.
�In August 2010, natural gas prices were at Rs 1,920 per thousand cubic metre, which has now shot up to Rs 5,091,� he said, adding that in such a situation a tariff hike is inevitable.