Power tariff hike just a proposal yet: Surjewala

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Chandigarh, Aug 18 (UNI) Haryana Power Minister Randeep Singh Surjewala today said the objections being raised by INLD Supermo Om Parkash Chautala and Haryana Janhit Congress over the tariff revision proposal submitted by power distribution companies to Haryana Electricity Regulatory Commission (HERC) were totally baseless, misinformed and misdirected.

These political parties were raising the objections only to hoodwink the people of the state to take political mileage, Mr Surjewala said while addressing a press conference here.

He clarified that it was simply a proposal and HERC might accept it, reject it or amend it.

He said that agriculture sector had been completly exempted from the revision of the tariff rates. ''Mr Chautala, who is making a great hue and cry over the tariff revision proposal, had increased the rates of tariff for agriculture sector from 23 paise per unit to 50 paise per unit for the first slab and from 50 paise to 65 paise for the second slab.'' Mr Chautala decreased these rates to 25 paise per unit in the election year, obvisously to gain political mileage. The present state government had kept these rates intact, he added.

He said that in the proposal, the interest of the common and poor consumers had been looked after and tariff rates for this category of consumers had been proposed to be decreased. The tariff rates had been proposed to be increased only for rich consumers who had the capacity to pay.

The proposal was based on the principle that rich must pay and cross subsidy for the poor, he added.

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