Kannur: Opposition leader Oommen Chandy Tuesday said the Left Front Government`s move to `hike` the power surcharge had dealt a virtual body blow to consumers already reeling under spiralling prices of essential commodities.
The decision to effect hike in surcharge for all categories of power consumers came after the Government submitted to the State Electricity Regulatory Commission that the Kerala State Electricity Board owed an `exaggerated` Rs 311 crore dues on
account of power purchase from other agencies, he said.
However, a further computation and account verification revealed that the actual dues owed by the KSEB was around Rs 190 crore, which the government could have offset by budgetary allocation and averted the "unwarranted" hike in power tariff,
Chandy told a press conference here.
When Kerala had faced acute power shortage in the face of rising consumption, the previous UDF government led by AK Antony in 2002 had averted power hike by disbursing Rs 600 crore to the KSEB to tide over the situation, he claimed.
Despite making budgetary allocation for the KSEB during the last four years, the government had not disbursed funds to the Electricity Board, he alleged adding that the latest upward revision of power tariff was being made only to slash it down ahead of the 2011 assembly polls.
To a question,Chandy said the Kerala PCC has appealed to AICC to advance organisational polls in Congress party ahead of the upcoming civic body polls in the State.
Evading a query on possible induction of expelled Congress leader K Muraleedharan into the party, Chandy said a decision to this effect should come from AICC.