Bandh in K’taka over power tariff hike evokes good response


Bengaluru, June 22 (IANS) The bandh call given by the Karnataka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) against power tariff hike evoked good response from across the state on Thursday, especially in the district headquarters.

The entrepreneurs owning small and medium industries closed down their establishments to register their support for the protest call of KCCI.

Various industrial bodies in the district headquarters and Bengaluru staged protest against the government. The bandh evoked good response in Hubballi, known as ‘Chotta Mumbai’, a hub of small and medium industries.

Protest marches were also taken out in Shivamogga and Ballary, where memorandums were submitted to the district commissioners.

The President of Ballary District Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Srinivas Rao, said that the power tariff hike impacts the business class, common man and industries alike.

“Though attempts were made to explain the seriousness of the matter, the government officials did not respond. The industries are suffering losses due to the power tariff hike,” he said.

The protesters said that power tariff has been hiked from 25 per cent to 75 per cent, that too after the announcement of a free power scheme in the state.

Following the bandh, Minister for Small Scale Industries and Public Enterprises, Sharanabasappa Darshanapur, said that Chief Minister Siddaramaiah will hold a meeting on this issue with small and medium industrialists on Friday.

The minister said the meeting will be attended by industrialists in which representatives from the Karnataka Small Scale Industries Association (KASSIA) and Federation of Karnataka Chamber of Commerce and Industries (FKCCI) will also participate.

“I am confident that the industrialists will be happy after the meeting. A decision will be taken after hearing them out. Whatever needs to be done to save the industries will be done. Industries create jobs, and the government has a responsibility in this regard. We will find a solution at the meeting,” he said.

The Karnataka Electricity Regulatory Commission (KERC) had revised the power tariff on May 12. According to the KERC order, power tariff has been revised to average 70 paise per unit for all household connections, and the order was given retrospective effect from April 2023 consumption. Due to the revision of the tariff, an enhanced average 70 paise per unit will be collected from June billing.

KERC also ordered for fixation of tariff in two slabs. According to the order, for consumption of the first 100 units, the revised energy charge will be Rs 4.75 per unit, and if consumption crosses 100 units, the energy charge will be Rs 7 per unit.

KERC also revised fixed charges. For 1 to 50 KW sanctioned load, the fixed charge is Rs 110 and for above 50 KW sanctioned load, it will be Rs 210.


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