Trade bodies term power tariff hike untimely

Industry bodies have termed the Karnataka Electricity Regulatory Commission’s (KERC) move to allow tariff hike of 23 paise as untimely.

Bangalore Chamber of Industry and Commerce (BCIC) said the hike comes at a period of flat industrial growth in the State and that it will add to industry’s burden.

BCIC president M Lakshminarayan said: “The hike will further aggravate the situation and erode the bottomlines of industry, which is already facing multiple challenges due to poor off take of inventories.”

Karnataka Small Scale Industries Association (Kassia), terming it a “dark day for MSE sector” has pointed out that this has been the fifth time, tariff has been increased in the last two-and-a-half years.

“The SME sector spread throughout the State supporting agriculture, large industries and exports are hurt by this enhancement, adding to a further concern of enforcement of periodical increase in fuel cost,” Kassia said. 

The industry bodies also feel that it is a matter of concern that Escoms can now directly pass on any increase in fuel cost to consumers from July 1. With this increase, they pointed out, Karnataka has become one of the states with highest electricity cost.  

This is in addition to the increased electricity duty on consumption and sale of electricity, in March 2013, from five per cent to six per cent, further impacting the industry and business sentiment.

Federation of Karnataka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FKCCI) said: “Though not much to comment on the new tariff determination, the chamber feels that we have to wait for the Fuel Surcharge Adjustment application and consequences thereof.”

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