Himachal power tariff hike may drive Steel and Cement prices up, warns BJP
Shimla, Sept 10
In a recent statement, the Leader of Opposition and former Chief Minister, Jairam Thakur, voiced concerns over the Himachal Pradesh Government’s decision to increase industrial power tariffs, warning of impending price hikes for steel and cement within the state. Thakur criticized the government’s move, highlighting its potential impact on industrial operations.
The revised rates include a substantial increase in electricity duty for High Tension (HT) industries, rising from 11 percent to 19 percent, and Extreme High Tension (EHT) industries, which also saw an increase from 13 percent to 19 percent. Small and medium-sized industries faced a similar increase, with electricity duty climbing from 11 percent to 17 percent. Moreover, cement plants now bear an electricity duty hike from 17 percent to 25 percent. Additionally, a new electricity duty of 45 paise per unit has been imposed on electricity generation through diesel generator sets, while exemptions previously granted for captive generation and green energy have been revoked.
Thakur reminded that the prior government had introduced policies offering electricity concessions to industries based on their electricity usage to encourage industrial growth in the state. He stressed that the surge in electricity duty would inevitably result in higher prices for cement and iron products in Himachal Pradesh.
Furthermore, Thakur criticized the Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu government for exacerbating the cost of living for citizens by increasing tariffs on electricity, water, garbage collection, and property taxes shortly after coming to power. He emphasized that imposing inflationary pressures on the people during challenging times was unjustifiable.
Thakur also pointed out that the government’s decision to withdraw concessions designed to attract new industries to the state would deter investment and potentially force existing industries to relocate.
Thakur expressed concern that the government’s actions were fostering economic insecurity among industries. The opposition leader accused the government of deliberately undermining the state’s industries, potentially driving them away, and undermining the state’s development prospects.
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