Odisha Assembly: Opp puts ruling party on back foot over power tariff hike

Bhubaneswar: The Opposition today hit out at the Odisha government in the State Assembly over the OERC’s decision to hike electricity tariff in the State from October 1, 2020.

The BJP alleged the power tariff hike will add to the woes of people of the State who have been suffering due to the Covid-19 pandemic whereas the Congress questioned the rationality behind waiver of power bills of big companies like Reliance and IMFA.

Opposition Chief Whip Mohan Charan Majhi alleged the State government has failed to collect the pending electricity bills from different companies and industrial organisations. Around Rs 3,000 crore electricity bills are yet to be collected from 26 industrial organizations in the State, he added.

Demanding immediate roll back of the hiked power tariff Majhi asked why the State government is selling electricity at Rs 3.21 per unit to other states while purchasing the same at Rs 3.81 per unit from some other power generating states.

Senior Congress Legislator Santosh Singh Saluja claimed the State government has burdened the common people by increasing the power tariff. However, crores of power bills of Reliance and IMFA were waived, he claimed while questioning the rationality behind it.

Earlier, replying to an adjournment motion moved by the Opposition on power tariff hike Energy Minister Dibya Shankar Mishra said the OERC takes a decision after considering the interest of all the stakeholders. Even though the power tariff has been hiked for power consumers after seven years, there was no revision of the tariff for BPL consumers and agricultural consumers.

Dissatisfied with the reply of the Energy Minister, the BJP members staged a walkout from the State Assembly. The Opposition Chief Whip alleged the Minister’s statement was intended to save the government.

Following this, Speaker SN Patro adjourned the proceedings of the House till 3 pm.

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