Chandigarh: Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) President Sukhbir Singh Badal today said the Congress government had betrayed industrialists by sending them enhanced power bills with a tariff increase of around ten per cent on old rates, even while it announced to reduce power tariff to Rs five per unit in the current bill cycle.
In a statement here, the SAD president said it was shocking that chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh had announced that power tariff for industry would be lowered to Rs five per unit with effect from last month but had in fact increased it manifold. "Besides the earlier tariff rate of around Rs 8 per unit, a further increase of ten per cent has been imposed in the two month power bill being received by consumers currently", he added.
Terming this conduct on the part of an elected government as deceit, Badal said the government had passed the proposal to reduce bills for the industrial sector to Rs five per unit in its budget and also took a cabinet decision to this effect. "The chief minister also made this announcement and he was also thanked for the same by representative associations of industry with full page advertisements. However the bitter truth which has been revealed with the distribution of power bills is that power tariff has in fact been increased substantially", he added.
The former Deputy CM said urbanites were also paying a heavy price for the government's inability to manage the power sector. He said the power tariff in urban areas had been increased by 12 per cent. He said earlier a municipal tax had also been imposed on power bills in municipal areas.
Stating that this was not all, Sukhbir said water rates had also been hiked in all municipalities. He said external development charges had also been increased and the fee for regularising illegal colonies had been doubled. "All this has put an unbearable burden on urbanites who had unsuspectingly believed the Congress party's promise to give them power at Rs five per unit besides reducing other taxes, he added.