Unionists Oppose Proposed Power Tariff Hike




The unionist political parties in the Valley have decided to oppose the proposed hike in power tariff submitted by Power Development Department to State Electricity Regulator Commission (SERC) in a petition whose public hearing will be held on 26th of this month.

National Conference’s provincial President Nasir Aslam Wani said that the proposal submitted by the PDD for hiking power tariff to consumers in the state is “unnecessary”.

“It is a very unnecessary step taken by the PDD as people are still struggling to recover from 2014 flood. The SERC should take a considerate view keeping in view the damage caused by the flood,” Wani told KNS.

The former minister said that people in the state cannot afford to pay more power hike in case the SERC agrees with PDD as people have seen worst economic disruption due to flood.

JK Congress chief Ghulam Ahmad Mir said that the party will oppose the petition submitted by the PDD for power hike.

“As representative of the people, Congress is against any decision that will burden people in the state. After 2014 flood, the state is still grappling will the devastation. Any move that will burden people in the state is not justified and will be worst for the people,” Mir said.

Mir said that along with the country, Jammu and Kashmir is also witnessing “buray din”. “We were promised Acche din. But acche din nahi burre din aarahe hai,” he said, referring to the BJP’s slogan during the party’s election campaigning.

Peoples Democratic Party General Secretary Rafi Mir said that the PDD’s move to go for power tariff hike is not justiciable.

“People in the state have not seen any significant improvement in power sector. There is no end to curtailment in electricity, electric poles and HT, LT wires are dangling from tress. When PDD shows any improvement in its performance, then the hike will be justified. As for now, it is not justifiable, and is anti-people,” Mir said.

The Power Development Department (PDD) has submitted a petition to SERC proposing around 17 percent hike in power tariff for the fiscal year 2016-2017 in view of increasing revenue generation gap.

“The annual requirement is Rs 6,384.34 crore of which Rs 2,812.21 shall be earned through the existing power tariff. So JKPDD proposed a tariff for additional revenue of Rs 506.52 crores which will increase the revenue generation to Rs 3318.73. The gap of Rs 3065.62 Crores shall be met through budgetary support from the Government of J&K,” the PDD petition submitted to SERC says.

The PDD on its own can’t revise the power tariff and the SERC has the mandate to decide on power tariff.

The traders and civil society has also opposed the move and threatened to take to streets against the power hike.

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