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Home News Power Sector News Punjab grands 550 crore power subsidy for business / urban consumers

Punjab grands 550 crore power subsidy for business / urban consumers

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BadalSuccumbing to pressure from its alliance partner BJP, the Shiromani Akali Dal-led government in Punjab on Thursday decided to set off the enhanced portion of power tariff for domestic, commercial and industrial sectors in the state.The exchequer-draining decision has been taken to placate its junior partner in the government, BJP, which had threatened to walk out of the ministry if their vote base — business class and urban voter — was not taken care of.

But this “politically correct” decision will make things difficult for debt-ridden government which will have to bear an additional financial burden to the tune of about Rs 550 crore.

Last week, in an embarrassment to the Akali-BJP government, the Punjab State Electricity Regulatory Commission (PSERC) has dismissed the PSEB’s petition seeking deferment of the tariff hike announced in September. This means that now it was up to the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) to decide on whether to keep ally BJP in good humour by committing more subsidy to the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB).

Government took a plea of general economic slowdown in the country to announce this relief which goes against the states fiscal health. Manpreet Badal, the finance minister of Punjab, was caught unawares about the decision by the state government. When contacted in Delhi, he claimed, “I’m very sad to hear this and I do not know how are we going to implement it.”

Source - Times of India
 

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