Maharashtra slashes power tariff by 20 percent

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Mumbai, Jan 20 (IANS) In a major pre-election initiative, the Maharashtra government Monday slashed power tariff by 20 percent across all sectors.

The move will provide relief to domestic, commercial, industrial and agricultural consumers, according to an announcement by the Chief Minister’s Office.

The 20 percent cut will be applicable for domestic consumers – around 1.30 crore in the state – using up to 300 units per month.

The move drew criticism from the Shiv Sena and the Bharatiya Janata Party.

The decision will be implemented in the entire state including north-east parts of Mumbai which get power from the Maharashtra State Electricity Board (MSEB).

“A decision on the other areas of the city – like north-west and south Mumbai – which are serviced by private suppliers like Tata Power and Reliance Energy shall be taken next week,” an official told IANS.

The MSEB has a total of 2.14 crore consumers in Maharashtra, of which 1.56 crore are domestic users, a MSEB spokesperson said.

Of these 1.56 crore, a whopping 1.30 crore fall in the below 300-units per month range, making them eligible for the 20 percent slashed tariff.

Maharashtra also has 3.60 million agriculture consumers, 1.60 million commercial users, 300,000 industrial and 100,000 powerlooms.

Certain other consumers like the railways are no included in the above list, the spokesperson said.

The 20 percent reduction in tariff would mean a loss of around Rs.706 crore per month for MSEB.

However, the government will provide subsidy of Rs.606 crore per month or Rs.7,272 crore per annum to the MSEB.

The remaining Rs.100 crore per month or Rs.1,200 crore per annum will be borne by the MSEB.

Since the past fortnight, Congress MP Sanjay Nirupam has launched protests demanding reduction in power tariff in Mumbai and other parts in the interest of ordinary consumers.

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