About 311,000 industrial consumers in Maharashtra will get cheaper nighttime electricity from January 1, an official said on Wednesday.
“The Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC) has approved a night relief of Rs 2.50 per unit to industries from 10 pm to 6 am. We had proposed this incentive in the annual revenue requirement but MERC had approved only Rs 1 in August,” an official of the Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company (MahaVitaran) told Business Standard. MERC in August had revised MahaVitaran’s rate for industrial consumers.
MERC’s revised order comes after industries in Maharashtra protested against the higher electricity rate compared to other states. High-tension consumers are charged Rs 8.50 a unit compared to Rs 5.75 in Karnataka, Rs 5-5.30 in Gujarat and Rs 4.50-4.80 in Chhattisgarh.
Industries had observed a day’s bandh in October to protest the high rate.
R B Goenka, Chairman, energy cell, Vidarbha Industries Association (VIA), however said the reduction by Rs 2.50 per unit was only a ‘partial relief’.
“If the industrial unit operates in three shifts, the actual relief comes to 50p, which is definitely a relief. However, the tariff charged to industries is still high in the state compared to other states,” he noted.
Goenka said VIA had supported MahaVitaran’s plea for increasing the relief in rates to Rs 2.50 per unit from Rs 1 per unit during 10 pm to 6 am.
The contract has been put on hold and further payments have been stopped
India's food subsidy in the 2014-15 Union Budget was estimated to be around Rs 115,000 crore