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Letter to Jharkhand CM in demand for reverting to earlier power subsidy norms

Mail News Service

Jamshedpur, May 26: “On the one hand, the Jharkhand government has decided to provide subsidy to electricity consumers for use upto 400 units but on the other, such subsidy will not be applicable if even one unit over the 400 units is consumed,” was the contention of the vice president of Singhbhum Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI), Mukesh Mittal.

In a letter to the Jharkhand Chief Minister, the SCCI vice president mentioned, “The decision of the state government to provide subsidy to power consumed upto 400 units under the rider that electricity units consumed over and above the stipulated 400 units will not be eligible for the subsidy. This decision is creating a negative image for the state government more so for the insensitivity towards state citizens’ who have been facing the brunt of inflation prevailing at this juncture. The decision of the state government to provide subsidy to power consumers up to 400 units but negating this subsidy if the consumption exceeds the 400 unit margin by even one unit, is fraught with factors to add to the economic burdens already being faced by the people. It is our ardent request to you to rethink and remove the 400 unit margin and provide subsidy to general consumption of electricity.”

 According to the letter written by Mukesh Mittal to Chief Minister Hemant Soren, if a power consumer utilized electricity beyond 400 units, the person will not be eligible for the subsidy relief and would have to pay up for the entire power consumption whereas earlier, the person used to get the subsidy benefits on the entire units consumed. The SCCI vice president wrote, “After this decision of the government, now the domestic electricity consumers of Jharkhand state, who used to get subsidy relief earlier on the entire unit consumed, will now be deprived of the subsidy facility even for one unit’s consumption over and above the 400 unit demarcation. This rule appears to be completely impractical.”

 According to Mukesh Mittal, the electricity rate of Jharkhand Bijli Vitran Nigam Ltd (JBVNL) was currently Rs 6.25 per unit while the rate of electricity provided by Tata Steel Utility and Infrastructure Services Ltd (Tata Steel UISL), which is a private electricity supply company, was Rs 5.10 per unit. In the light of this comparative figure, JBVNL was more expensive.

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