Karnataka: Congress Govt Hikes Electricity Tariff For Usage Over Free Limit

Bengaluru: The Congress government in Karnataka has increased electricity rates by Rs 2.89 per unit from June. If more than 200 units fall in the slab, the people of the state will have to pay the increased tariff. Interestingly, during the recently held assembly elections, the Congress party had promised 200 units of free electricity under the ‘Griha Jyoti’ scheme.

However, as the Siddaramaiah-led Congress government is set to implement the ‘Griha Jyoti’ scheme, fresh tariffs will be applicable for the implementation of the scheme. Energy department officials said the additional cost pertains to fuel and power purchase cost adjustment (FPPCA) and includes arrears since April.

“It could not be implemented in March in the backdrop of billing issues and lack of sufficient time. It will be imposed from June, which is Rs 1.49. There was a 70 paise hike in April and 70 paise hike in June. Overall The power tariff hike will be Rs 2.89, said an official. Officials also said that ahead of the elections, the BJP government has reviewed power tariff hike proposals sent by all electricity supply companies (Escoms) to the Karnataka Electricity Regulatory Commission (KERC). was approved.

However, the BJP did not allow the officials to implement the new fare because of the elections, an official said. KERC had on May 13 ordered a 70 paise tariff hike with retrospective effect from April 1. Meanwhile, the opposition BJP condemned the hike, saying the Congress government cheated the people of Karnataka by increasing power tariffs.

The BJP said, “It is like giving free electricity on the one hand and taking it away on the other.” The Karnataka Small Scale Industries Association (KSSIA) has warned of a strike against the hike in power tariffs. KSSIA said that under the new tariff it would be forced to close shop.