Electricity minister Natham R. Viswanathan on 18-11-2014 said that his government would protect the interests of poor and middle class power consumers by providing additional subsidy to ensure that the power tariff hike, proposed by the Tamil Nadu Energy Regulatory Commission (TNERC), was not passed on directly to consumers.
The TNERC had on September 23 proposed an across-the-board tariff increase, including a hike of 15 per cent for domestic consumers, 31 per cent for industries and 15 per cent for commercial users.
Reacting to this, Jayalalithaa had assured that her government would provide additional subsidy to protect the poor. Mr Viswanathan, recalling Jayalalithaa's statement, said, "This government which is being guided by Amma will honour that assurance."
Strongly reacting to a BJP general council meet resolution, which criticised the government for the proposed tariff hike, he said that the saffron party appeared to be unaware of the electricity tariff determination policy of its present and previous regimes at the Centre.
Tracing the legislative history of the Electricity Regulatory Commission Act, he said that it was his party that had sought and brought provisioning for subsidy for consumers.
The proposed hike in tariff is to bridge a revenue deficit of Rs 6,854 crore of the State-run power monolith Tangedco. Meetings seeking the opinions of different stakeholders on the proposed tariff hike have been conducted by the regulator.
Source- Deccan Chronicle