As many as 150 different industry associationss of the State on Thursday staged a massive e-dharna against the levy of fixed charges on industries by the power distribution companies even though they were closed during the lockdown period. The industrialists from across the state registered their protest via Zoom and Facebook Live.
The e-dharna was staged under the aegis Association of Industries Madhya Pradesh. The office-bearers of the assoications said that levying of fixed charges was unjust and they were also appalled by the huge amount of the bills.
About 3000 industries of the state from Jhabua to Balaghat came on the online platforms and expressed their opposition. The e-dharna lasted for two hours during which representatives of various industry organisations expressed their views and opposed the move of Power Discoms.
A memorandum addressed to Chief Minister was read by Prakash Jain, AIMP senior vice-president. MP Shankar Lalwani also joined the e-dharna online and listened to the views of the industrialist.
Pramod Dafaria, president of AIMP, said that all types of fees are being charged by the power companies from the industries which have been closed for two months, and fixed charges are the most important of them.
"How can the discom companies levy fix charges even though the industries have been closed following a government order. He said that even though the government has stated that the fixed charges have been carried forward for two months, it is not reflecting in the bills. This is a wrong decision and the entire industry opposes it and expects the government to withdraw the fix charges immediately. Minimum charges are also being taken from the industries. Many industries have not consumed even a single unit in the lockdown period, therefore putting the extra burden on industries is totally unjustified."
Gautam Kothari, president of Pithampur Audhyogik Sangathan, Ajit Singh Narang from Malwa Chamber of Commerce, Deepak Bhandari from Global Forum of Industrial Development, all from Indore, joined the e-dharna.