Bhattal opposes Punjab Government move to hike power tariff

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Chandigarh, Sept 20 (UNI) Leader of Opposition in Punjab assembly Rajinder Kaur Bhattal today assailed the state Government for the proposed hike in the power tariff saying that with this increase, public would have to bear the brunt of fiscal mismanagement of the Badal Government.

In a statement issued here today, Ms Bhattal described as ''unfair'' the increase in power tarrif by 8.4 per cent, 12 per cent and 7 per cent for domestic, agriculture and other consumers respectively, and expressed apprehension that it would lead to flight of industry from the State.

Already, because of exemptions and other benefits in the neighbouring States, big business houses had shifted their units to Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir, the Congress leader said.

She urged the State Government to desist from taking steps which ultimately contributed to inflation, as the people were already hard pressed because of spiraling prices of essential commodities.

"Farmers of the State were already under debt and many had committed suicide, they would be directly and indirectly affected by the increase in power tariff, '' she said adding that in order to meet the revenue deficit in the Punjab State Electricity Board, the government should explore other steps to plug the loopholes like revenue and transmission losses.

It was ironical that the Government which came into power on poll plank of "welfare of poor" was now relegating their interests to the background and was reneging on the poll promises, the Congress leader said.


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