AP govt to cushion domestic consumers from power tariff hike
Hyderabad: Facing heat from the opposition and a section of ruling Congress, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy on Thursday night announced that the state would bear an additional subsidy burden of Rs 830 crore to ease the burden on domestic power consumers.
AP Electricity Regulatory Commission announced a new power tariff order for FY 2013-14 last week allowing the power distribution companies to levy additional tariff of Rs 6,173 crore on consumers from April 1.
Apparently fearing a backlash in the election year, the Chief Minister reviewed the order with members of a cabinet sub-committee this evening, and announced that the old tariff would remain applicable to domestic users whose consumption is between 1 and 200 units a month.
"This will benefit 1.86 crore domestic consumers as the government will bear an additional subsidy burden of Rs 830 crore. It will be in addition to the Rs 5,480 crore subsidy for the agriculture sector for free power," the Chief Minister said at a press conference tonight.
He also said the government "will try" to ensure there is no burden of fuel surcharge adjustment on consumers this year.
"Though we are buying power from outside sources at a high cost due to scarcity of gas and coal and also hydel power, we will try to see that FSA is not levied," he said.
Referring to agitations by opposition, the Chief Minister said, "If anybody still continues to agitate, they will be the representatives of capitalists, and not the people."