Congress blames Centre for power tariff hike in state, asks BJP leaders to approach Centre for reducing coal and fuel price

Congress blames Centre for power tariff hike in state, asks BJP leaders to approach Centre for reducing coal and fuel price

Raipur: Day after the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) cornered State Government over the issue of power tariff hike, Congress on Wednesday said that the party will give a befitting reply to BJP on the issue.

During a press conference at Rajiv Bhawan on Wednesday, Chhattisgarh Pradesh Congress Committee (CPCC) Vice President and State Mineral Development Corporation Chairman Girish Dewangan said that BJP leaders blamed Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel government for recent power tariff hike.

He said that 90 per cent power tariff was hiked by an average 6 per cent per annum during the 15 years rule of the BJP government. He also objected to the word of confrontation used by the BJP leaders Brijmohan Agrawal, Rajesh Munat and Shrichand Sundrani during a press conference on Tuesday and said that the Congress party would give a befitting reply to the BJP.

The Congress leader said that these BJP leaders now started showing their real character by making such statements against the Congress government which has effected only  1.1 percent hike per annum in its less than three years of rule.

The BJP Chhattisgarh unit had announced that they will stage protest demonstration over the recent power tariff hike. Instead of protesting power tariff hike, the BJP leaders of Chhattisgarh should register their protest against the Central government over this issue because the Central government is actually responsible for power tariff hike, Dewangan said.

CPCC’s Communication Department Chairman Shailesh Nitin Trivedi said that electricity is being sold at cheapest rate in Chhattisgarh and still the BJP leaders are not satisfied. Trivedi cited the report of the Forum of Regulators (FOR) on “Analysis of Factors Impacting Retail Tariff and Measures to Address Them” prepared by Central Electricity Regulatory Commission wherin there is a clear mention of the factors leading to power tariff hike. The prices of coal, fuel, railway freight, clean energy cess and transmission charges have been hiked by the BJP government at the Centre and all these factors contributed for the increase in the price of the electricity.

In the power purchase cost for sample station, the contribution of coal price has been in the range of 25 per cent, rail freight at 41 per cent, road transportation at 11 per cent, clean energy cess at 11 per cent and others at 12 per cent. Clean energy cess has increased over time from Rs 50 per ton in June, 2010 to Rs 400 per ton since March 2016.

The total impact of coal cess on power sector is around Rs 25,000 crore per year during last three years. Another important element in the power purchase cost is the transmission charge. The annual transmission charges for inter-state transmission have increased from Rs 9,000 crore in financial year 2011-12 to more than Rs 39,000 in the financial year 2019-20 translating into a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) 21 per cent during this period. There has been an increase of 40 per cent in the railway freight charges in the past four years, he added.

If the BJP leaders want to give relief to the power consumers of the state, they should ask the Central government to reduce the prices of coal and fuel, clean energy cess and transmission charge that will be helpful to check rise in power tariff, Trivedi described.

CPCC In-charge General Secretary (Administration) Ravi Ghosh, State Congress Spokesman Dhananjay Singh Thakur and other Congress leaders were present at the press conference.