Mumbai : Union Minister of State for Shipping, Milind Deora, on Sunday demanded a “white paper” on power tariffs in Maharashtra to study how subsidies are provided. “I feel that there has to be a white paper before discussing reduction of power tariffs in the State as it will help in understanding how subsidies are given,” Deora, Congress MP from Mumbai South, told reporters.
He was speaking on the sidelines of a function at the fishing jetty of ‘Bhaucha Dhakka’ at Mazgaon, where the Minister symbolically inaugurated the renovation works of the jetty.
Demanding the need for a scrutiny of subsidies provided, he said, “Subsidy means that the money will be diverted from one pocket to the other. The white paper on power tariff will help to understand this mechanism.”
Two other Congress MPs from Mumbai, Sanjay Nirupam and Priya Dutt, had already demanded cut in power tariffs, and even led a protest march to the office of Reliance Energy, which supplies electricity to Mumbai suburbs, a week ago.
Deora supported this demand in principle.
Following Delhi government’s decision to cut power tariff by 50 per cent, Congress leaders in Maharashtra have been making similar demand.
Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan had said the State government had appointed a committee, led by Industries Minister Narayan Rane, to look into the matter. The committee has recommended 10 to 20 per cent cut in power tariffs, but the State cabinet is yet to take a decision regarding the recommendation.
Expressing concern over the stampede tragedy, he said, “My team is in touch with the relatives of the victims. We need to find out how this tragedy occurred and how such an event can be prevented from happening in the future.”