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Opposition, industry bodies slam tariff hike

A day after the Karnataka Electricity Regulatory Commission (KERC) announced an average 40 paise per unit hike in electricity tariffs across the State, political leaders as well as industry leaders have slammed the move.

JD(S) leader and former Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy tweeted, urging the government to put off the tariff hikes for a year given the circumstances under COVID 19.

“People are suffering after being hit by COVID-19, job losses, and pay cuts. The tariff hike will be a huge burden on them,” he said.

The Karnataka Small Scale Industries Association (KASSIA) has said that the tariff hike will have an adverse impact on MSMEs, which are already struggling.

On the other hand, it has welcomed the KERC’s decision to withdraw the ₹1 per unit penalty for morning peak usage between 6 a.m. and 10 a.m. to encourage HT industrial consumption.

The Federation of Karnataka Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FKCCI) has also expressed its displeasure over the development, mentioning that the move would burden all categories of consumers, affect the economy as well as the prices of raw materials, such as iron and steel.

On Wednesday, the KERC approved the revision of electricity tariff for all electricity supply companies (Escoms) with an average increase by 40 paise per unit, which was a 5.4% average increase, for electricity consumed from the first meter reading date falling on or after November 1. For domestic consumers, installations of government or charitable educational institutions and hospitals serviced by Bescom in BBMP and other municipal corporation areas, LT industrial consumers, HT industrial users, LT commercial category users, and private educational institutions and private hospitals, the increase is by 25 paise per unit.

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