Bhubaneswar: The deadlock in Odisha Assembly over power tariff hike ended on Monday after the state government announced its decision to file a review petition before the Odisha Electricity Regulatory Commission (OERC) seeking a roll back in the proposed increase of tariff pertaining to agriculture.
"Keeping the interest of farmers in view, the energy department will file a review petition before the OERC seeking roll back of the power tariff hike pertaining to agriculture," energy minister Pranab Prakash Das said in a statement.
The minister said the OERC would also be requested to adjust the tariff order through cross subsidy.
The sentiment of the House in regard to power tariff hike was also taken into consideration before the state government arrived at the decision to file the review petition, he said.
"The government has partially accepted the demand of opposition. Had it been fully accepted, things would have been better. However, we will cooperate with the government for smooth functioning of the House," leader of opposition Narasingha Mishra of Congress said.
The functioning of the Assembly was stalled almost for a week after the OERC on March 23 announced hike in power tariff. While the tariff for domestic consumers was raised by 20 paise per unit of electricity, the hike was 40 paise in case of agriculture.
The opposition Congress and BJP had been staging agitation both inside the assembly and outside demanding total roll back of the increased power tariff. This led to stalling of the assembly proceedings for almost a week with several all party meetings failing to resolve the issue.
When the House assembled for the question hour today, the opposition members rushed to well of the House forcing Speaker Niranjan Pujari to adjourn the proceeding till 12.50.
Normalcy returned after the House reassembled and the minister announcing the decision to file a review petition before the OERC requesting roll back of the proposed tariff hike pertaining to agriculture. The new tariff was scheduled to be implemented from April 1.
While the opposition members demanded roll back of the new power tariff, the ruling party members created ruckus over the pulling out of three Central PSUs?MCL, RSP and Nalco? from the 'Aahar' scheme of the state government.