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Maharashtra government, in a bid to reduce high power tariff applicable to the industry consumers, has  set up a five member committee headed by the Industries Minister Subhash Desai.

The committee, which also comprises Energy Minister Nitin Raut, Agriculture minister Dadaji Bhuse among others,  is expected to submit a report in two months. Basis the findings of the report a policy will be put in place in six months to supply electricity at a  competitive tariff.

According to the industries department, industries in Maharashtra gets electricity at Rs 7.07 per unit  compared to Rs 6.65 per unit  in Telangana, Rs 6.35 per unit in Tamil Nadu, Rs 6.20 per unit in Himachal Pradesh, Rs 4.20 per unit in  Gujarat, Rs 7 per unit in Karnataka and Rs 7.30 per unit in Andhra Pradesh. 

The higher tariff is also because of the addition of cross subsidy charge in order to provide power at subsidized rates especially to agriculture and power looms.

Industry bodies have been making repeated pleas to the state government for its intervention to lower the tariff. Some of the industrial units from the border districts had hinted to shift to the adjoining states expressing their inability to continue operations because of the higher tariff.

Industry department officer told FPJ, ''Internal assessment revealed that the state run Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation can source power through competitive bidding and supply it at the competitive rates to the industrial units situated in the MIDC run industrial estates. The department has directed  MIDC to file petition seeking the approval of the Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC) for power distribution. The availability of cheap power to industries will help further promote industrial development and job creation. The five member committee will study various options and submit report to the government.''

In a story on February 10,Desai earlier had told this newspaper that MIDC can purchase bulk power from the state electricity distribution company, MahaVitaran and can distribute it in the industrial estates at a lower rate, compared to the present rates charged by MahaVitaran.

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Free Press Journal