MERC on its own proposed to levy lower fuel surcharge on farmers, BPL consumers, street lights and residential consumers in the 0-100 unit slab. This was to be compensated by a proportionately higher surcharge on shops, offices, industries, advertising hoardings and residential consumers having high consumption.
Power distributor MSEDCL supported the proposal. The industrialists, however, strongly opposed the proposal as it would further increase their galloping power bills. R B Goenka of Vidarbha Industries Association (VIA) during the hearing on Friday said that MERC's proposal against the National Tariff Policy mandated reduction in cross subsidies. He said while BPL consumers should be subsidised, others should pay at least 50% of the average cost of supply.
Goenka further pointed out that MERC was drawing a road map for reduction of cross subsidies and the proposal made a mockery it.
However, consumer activist Pratap Hogade demanded that no fuel surcharge should be levied on farmers and BPL consumers. He suggested that alternatively MERC should waive off the surcharge and a reserve certain amount in MSEDCL's revenue requirement for the year to meet additional fuel expenses.
Source- Times of India