Former Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda on Wednesday claimed that many industries in the state were being slapped with hefty power bills at a time when their businesses had remained shut.
The Centre has announced an economic package for the revival of the micro, small and medium enterprises, but average households, small businesses, hotels, eateries and industrial units "have all being pushed into financial distress because of large electricity bills in the name of fixed charges," Hooda said.
The leader of Opposition in the Assembly said several industry organisations had raised the issue of hefty electricity bills at a time when their businesses were shut.
"Businesses are already facing serious financial losses due to the lockdown and, instead of giving them relief, the government is slapping them with hefty bills which, in some cases, are even more than what they used to get when their units were running," he said.
The Congress leader demanded that the government should provide immediate relief in such cases so that businesses can start functioning again and not burden them with high power bills.
He claimed that the government had woken up to pressure from the Opposition on the release of the tubewell connections.
"But they have gone back on their promise of giving 6,200 connections and are now giving only 4,000 connections," he said. "More than 84,000 farmers had applied for the tubewell connections."
Hooda reiterated that farmers of the state were not willing to accept the restrictions being imposed on them for sowing paddy.
He said despite repeated requests for reconsideration of orders banning paddy cultivation in parts of the state, the government was adamant on its decision.
"The farmer is in the best position to decide what to sow. The Congress will support the judgement of the farmer if he decides to sow paddy or any other crop," Hooda said.
He added that such decisions should be taken with the consent of the farmer and not at a time when the world is fighting against a pandemic.
The Congress leader said the concern about depleting groundwater was legitimate, "but solution was to recharge depleting groundwater, not banning paddy cultivation in many parts".
He listed out the several projects implemented by the previous Congress state government to promote drip irrigation.
"Grants were provided to farmers for irrigation sets and pipeline, but the BJP government shut these projects down," Hooda said.
The government should take a pragmatic view of things and take a positive stance towards groundwater conservation schemes, which would provide long-term solutions, the Congress leader said.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)