Maharashtra govt sets up five-member committee to reduce high power tariff to industries

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 comprises energy minister Nitin Raut, agriculture minister Dadaji Bhuse among others, is expected to submit report in two months and based on it a policy will be put in place in six months to supply electricity at 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 a repeated plea 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 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 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.''

FPJ broke the story on February 10 in this regard. Desai had told this correspondent that MIDC can purchase bulk power from 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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