Chennai: Under attack from political parties for
the steep hike in power tariff, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister
Jayalalithaa on Tuesday announced subsidising part of the increase
for domestic consumers.
Making a suo motu statement in the state Assembly,
Jayalalithaa said the present move will benefit 1.5 crore
families and announced an additional subsidy of Rs 740 crore
to the Tamil Nadu Electricity Board taking the total subsidy
allocation for the department this year to Rs 4294.16 crore.
She said domestic consumers consuming 100 units for two
months will have to pay Rs one per unit as against Rs 1.10
announced in the revision last week.
"Domestic consumers consuming upto 200 units for two
months will need to pay Rs 1.50 as against Rs 1.80" announced
by the Tamil Nadu Electricity Regulatory Commission last week.
Similarly, domestic consumers using between 201 to 500
units will have to pay Rs two against Rs three for first 200
units and Rs three against Rs 3.50 from 201 to 500 units.
Jayalalithaa`s announcement was welcomed by ruling benches
amid thumping of desks even as opposition DMDK, DMK earlier
staged a walkout after Speaker D Jayakumar denied permission
to discuss the issue.
The government move was necessitated following public
demand for a rollback of power tariff hike though the state
government did not have the powers to withdraw the revision as
it was announced by TNERC involving the public in the
consultation process prior to the hike, she said.
Jayalalithaa maintained that financial mismanagement in
the previous DMK regime had pushed the TNEB into a debt trap
and this government was already taking steps to set right both
the financial health of the department and implement more
power generation projects.
The TNERC had announced a 37 per cent hike in the power
tariff to fetch an additional Rs 7,874 crore and bail out the
electricity board which is in the red.