No increase in power tariff : Veerasamy

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Chennai, May 15: Tamil Nadu Electricity Minister Arcot N Veerasamy today ruled out any hike in power tariff at least for this year in the state.

Talking to mediapersons here, he said his ministry had earlier proposed to hike the power tariff as the Tamil Nadu Electricity Board (TNEB) was incurring huge losses due to free power supply to agricultural pumpsets and huts, which accounted for 48 per cent of the total power generated in the state. The hike was put on hold as Chief Minister M Karunanidhi had ordered that the increase in power rates will burden the common people, he informed.

However, as the Lok Sabha election was nearing it was difficult for the government to increase the tariff at this point of time, he said.

Pointing out that the TNEB had incurred losses to the tune of Rs 4,500 crore this year, the state government has decided to give Rs 1,500 crore as grant per annum to the Board for free power supply scheme to farmers and huts.

The TNEB is expecting to realise about Rs 2,000 crore through sale of surplus power to Power Trading Corporation, which will bring relief to the Board, he added.

The minister said the order on weekly holiday for the industrial sector in Tamil Nadu due to shortage of power will be withdrawn from tomorrow as the power generation had improved.

He said the Government has divided the industrial sector into six regions and imposed a weekly holiday system for the industrial units due to power shortage.

As power from the windmill system started generating between 1,200 MW and 1,500 MW daily from April 27, the State Government would stop drawing power from neighbouring states, as well as central pool from June one, he added.

UNI

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