Andhra Pradesh industries have sought a separate power distribution utility (Discom), in addition to the existing four in the state, to deal with power supply exclusively for the industries.

Federation of AP Chamber of Commerce and Industry said this had become imperative as industries in the State was cross-subsidising to the extent of Rs 9,278 crore for the Government to provide subsidised power to agriculture and other sectors.

"An exclusive Discom for the industries could reduce the power woes of the industries in the State significantly," the industry body said.

"The subsidy requirement by all the four distribution utilities for 2013-14 is estimated at Rs 14,866 crore, which is almost three times the approved subsidy of Rs 5,884 crore by the Government. This means the remaining Rs 9,000 crore would be collected from the industries through tariff hikes," Devendra Surana, FAPCCI president, told media persons here today.

He said in April 2010, the State had the cheapest power tariff of Rs 3.51 per unit as compared to six "comparable" States such as Karnataka (Rs 4.82), Tamil Nadu (Rs 4.32), Gujarat (Rs 5.45) and Maharashtra (Rs. 4.89).

But, if the proposed new tariff is implemented from April 2013, it would have the highest tariff of Rs 7.19 a unit amongst these States, ahead of Maharashtra (Rs 6.90), Tamil Nadu (Rs 6.39), Gujarat (Rs 6.21) and Karnataka (Rs 6.21).

"During the last 18 months, industries have been getting below 50 per cent of its power requirement. Industries have been relocating their existing and proposed units to neighbouring States. Today, about 12,000 units, mostly in the MSME sector, are NPAs, largely due to the power situation," Surana said.

amitmitra@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on February 20, 2013)
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