The Tamil Nadu government has invited MSME (micro, small, and medium enterprise) associations for talks on Tuesday as several thousands of MSME units across the State closed their shutters on Monday to draw attention to the issues concerning electricity tariff hikes.

More than 150 associations, under the banner of the Tamil Nadu Industrial Electricity Consumers’ Federation, suspended their operations as part of the state-wide stir.

“The state minister for Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), TM Anbarsan, has invited the MSMEs associations for talks on Tuesday evening. We will be participating at the meeting, said K Baskaran, Secretary of the Kakkalur Industrial Estate Manufacturers’ Association and a member of the Tamil Nadu Industrial Electricity Consumers’ Federation (TNIECF)

A lot of domestic and export orders have to be delivered to customers, and small and micro units should not suffer due to this huge hike in energy tariffs, he added.

All MSME associations have been urging the State government to roll back the revision of the electricity tariff for small and medium industries, specifically those with a load of 12 KW, and apply Tariff III A(1). They also want the government to reduce fixed charges.

‘Steep hike’

“These fixed charges have gone up by 430 per cent, and with such a steep hike, we cannot run our businesses, which are already under poor order flows and high raw material prices,” said V Nithiyanathan, General Secretary, TANSTIA (Tamil Nadu Small and Tiny Industries Association), a member of TNIECF.

The associations also seek a reduction in demand charges for HT consumers that have been raised to ₹562/KVA from the previous ₹350/KVA.

Other demands include the removal of peak-hour charges for low-tension connections. For HT consumers, peak hour charges should be for 4 hours only, and the charges should be 20 per cent as earlier. A cap on yearly tariff increases and the removal of solar networking charges are also sought.