Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) president Sukhbir Singh Badal on Thursday said chief minister Bhagwant Mann had betrayed the industry by invoking a hike in industrial power tariff despite promising to supply power at the rate of ₹5 per unit.
In a statement issued here, he said that the AAP government has made an effective increase of 60 paise per unit in power being supplied to industries which would further affect their competitiveness.
“Already industry from Punjab is shifting to Uttar Pradesh, Himachal and Jammu and Kashmir. Today’s hike will put this migration on a fast track, affecting the state’s economy and resulting into large scale unemployment,” said SAD president.
He said the industry is being penalised for the mismanagement of the Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) by the AAP government. “A corporation which was ranked number one in the country during the tenure of Parkash Singh Badal has been bankrupted. PSPCL is not being paid due subsidy to the tune of ₹9,020 crore along with pending electricity dues from government departments of ₹2,548 crore,” he pointed.
The corporation’s financial future is bleak as the AAP government has deliberately under-estimated the subsidy amount by ₹7,000 crore as per power body’s engineers’ association.
Asserting that the situation was likely to worsen in the coming days, Sukhbir said the summer season has not started but the state power utility had started imposing power cuts of as much as eight hours per day even in cities.
Asking the chief minister to release due funds to PSPCL by putting a cut on the ₹750 crore advertising budget and controlling corruption in the excise policy, SAD chief said “PSPCL needs funds as it is unable to spare funds for routine repairs of transformers and grids. This will add to the woes of the farmers and the entire agricultural economy.