Chandigarh, October 12, 2018: The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) today condemned the fuel surcharge imposed by the Congress government, saying such measures had resulted in repeated hikes in power tariff and put an unbearable burden on the common man.
While demanding an immediately rollback, former minister Sikander Singh Maluka said the Congress government was repeatedly hiking power tariff through the back door by imposing electricity duties and fuel surcharge costs on consumers which had increased power tariff by around 20 per cent in the last one and a half years.
Mr Maluka said the latest hike in the form of fuel surcharge, which would be effective from April 2018, for both metered and unmetered categories, would raise both domestic and commercial bills further. He said already the industrial sector had witnessed a steep hike in power tariff with the government imposing hidden costs which had taken unit charges to much beyond the Rs 5 per unit landing cost promised by the Congress government.
The Akali leader said earlier this year the government affected an Rs 2.17 per cent hike in domestic tariff and also increased fixed charges by Rs 10 per kilo watt. He said similarly in the industrial sector fixed charges had been increased by Rs 10 to Rs 15 per unit.
The former minister said last year the government had affected a nine to twelve per cent increased in domestic power tariff in one go with retrospective effect from April 2017. “A municipal tax equivalent to two per cent of the electricity bill was also imposed last year. Electricity duty was also increased by two per cent”.
Mr Maluka said all this proved that the Congress government neither cared about the promises made to the people nor about solemn commitments made in the Vidhan Sabha. He said far from decreasing domestic tariff, the government had increased in manifold. He said similarly the government had introduced variable tariffs for the industrial sector which had resulted in an exponential increase in industrial tariffs.
Demanding that power tariffs for both domestic and industrial sector be rolled back, the Akali leader said all this was being done after cutting supply to farmers and the common man and selling power to other States. “This is a gross injustice and we will oppose it tooth and nail”, he added.