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11/06/2021 12:40pm

MSMEs worried over power tariff hike in Karnataka

image MSMEs worried over power tariff hike in Karnataka

Bengaluru, Jun 11 (KNN) Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) are worried over power tariff hike by Karnataka Electricity Regulatory Commission (KERC) as it will put an extra burden on them, said KASSIA.

In a statement issued here on Thursday, Karnataka Small Scale Industries Association (KASSIA) President, K B Arasappa said, '' Even though the lockdown may be lifted in a week or so, it is very difficult for the small and medium scale industries as they have suffered a huge loss over the last few months. At this time of crisis, when the MSMEs are expecting a handsome economic package from the State Government to help revive them, the unexpected decision of the State Government to increase the power tariff has come as a bolt from the blue.''

He said that the MSME sector, which provides a large number of jobs, next to the agricultural sector, has been facing a lot of problems these days. Hence the decision to raise the tariff 30 paise per unit is very objectionable and it will severely harm the MSME sector.

''Besides, the ever hiking in fuel prices- almost Rs 10 per litre over the past one month, will spell doom for these units,'' he noted.

If at all, the State Government wants to help the medium and small scale industries, it should, at once, take back its decision to raise the power tariff, he said.

Arasappa also suggested that the government should also take steps to cut the cess levied on fuel prices, so that the prices of petrol and diesel is reduced thus helping transportation of goods and vehicles. Such measures will help tide over the present crisis.

''If the state government does not take steps in these directions, the MSMEs may have to be facing a permanent closure owing to the pandemic,'' he warned.

He also urged the government to give at least a six- month period for the industries having a turnover of below Rs 5 crores and at least three- month period for the industries, who have a turnover over and above Rs 5 crores for filing GST returns.

KERC has approved an average 30 paise per unit increase in tariff, applicable to the consumers of all Electricity Supply Companies (ESCOMs) for the current financial year.

''The Commission has approved an average increase in tariff by 30 paise per unit (considering increase in Fixed / Demand and Energy charges) for FY 2021-22, resulting in an average increase of 3.84 per cent,'' said a statement from KERC on Wednesday.

The ESCOMs had sought an average increase of 135 paise per unit accounting for 17.31 per cent increase.

The revised tariff will come into effect for the electricity consumed from the first meter reading date falling on or after April 1, ''to enable recovery of the revenue gap determined by the Commission.''

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