Food Processing Ministry asks States to exempt cold storage units from fixed power tariffs

Meenakshi Verma Ambwani New Delhi | Updated on May 30, 2020 Published on May 30, 2020

Harsmirat Kaur Badal, Minister of Food Processing Industries

‘Levy charges on actual consumption basis’

Ministry of Food Processing has urged all state governments to exempt cold storage units from fixed power tariffs, while suggesting that such charges should be levied on the basis of actual consumption.

This comes after representations for relief from fixed power tariffs were made by the industry to the Ministry.

In a letter written by the Food Processing Minister Harsimrat Badal to all Chief Ministers, the Ministry said that the food processing industry is facing mounting fixed costs and unsold inventories due to the extended lockdown, put in place to curb the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Minister pointed out that cold chain infrastructure is a critical component for the food processing industry. “The cold storage units need to run 24x7 to preserve stored goods. The compressors cannot be shut down even when the capacity is not fully utilised. The movement of perishables to and from cold storage units has considerably reduced during the lockdown period and has led to severe liquidity crunch for the promoters," the letter stated.

In view of this, the Ministry has urged the state governments to levy electricity charges "on the basis of actual consumption rather than lumpsum charges."

“It is requested that the issue of electricity tariffs may be analysed and suitable relief may be granted to food processing industry at the earliest,” the Minister stated in her letter.

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Published on May 30, 2020
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