KCCI seeks reduction in power tariff

Our Bureau. Mangaluru | Updated on February 19, 2021

The Kanara Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) has requested the Karnataka Electricity Regulatory Commission (KERC) to reduce the tariff for industrial users by ₹1 per unit.

KCCI, which presented its objections for revision of power tariff proposed by Mangalore Electricity Supply Company (Mescom) at the public hearing of KERC in Mangaluru on Friday, said that Mescom has demanded tariff revision when the total demand from the industrial sector is coming down.

In his submission before the KERC, Isaac Vas, President of KCCI, said that with the Covid pandemic and lockdowns impacting their cash cycles, MSMEs have faced severe bottlenecks. As an important part of the domestic and global value chains, the plight of MSMEs is of deep concern, he said.

The countrywide lockdown dragged MSME owners, employees, and external stakeholders to unexpected repulsions, where no one had experience to handle this kind of situation. Extended lockdown had a negative impact on supply of finished goods, procurement of raw materials and availability of employees to work in production and supply processes. MSMEs are facing challenges related to debt repayments, wages/salaries, statutory dues, etc., post-lockdown, Vas said.

Small-scale industries have been undergoing severe hardship on account of global recession, demonetisation, reduced sales and the recessionary conditions prevailing in the domestic market for the last two years. Increase in electricity tariffs will hit MSMEs as the move will increase cost of production and kill competitiveness, he said.

Any further burden in terms of increased power tariffs on them will be completely counter-productive and lead to closure of many units and loss of jobs, he said.

Referring Bescom’s (Bangalore Electricity Supply Company) proposal not to increase the tariff for industrial consumers, he said KERC should direct Mescom to manage its affairs better by reducing distribution losses, improving efficiency of delivery, and increasing productivity instead of burdening the industry year after year.

Published on February 19, 2021

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