Punjab to provide cheapest power to industry: Sukhbir Singh Badal

Chandigarh, July 27: Punjab today achieved the unique milestone of offering the lowest power tariff in the country to existing small scale industry as well as new industry by fixing a power tariff of Rs 4.99 per unit for both these categories. It also gave a major concession to heavy industry by waiving off peak load restrictions besides reducing power tariff of all other industrial categories.

Announcing this bonanza today, the deputy chief minister said the State government had decided to reduce power tariff of the small industrial sector even beyond that recommended by the State regulatory commission and that the tariff had been reduced from Rs 5.85 per unit to Rs 4.99 per unit. He said the State had decided to provide a subsidy of Rs 50 crore to ensure relief to the small industry.

Similarly Mr Badal said the medium scale industry would get power at Rs. 5.99 per unit while earlier it was Rs. 6.38 per unit and the large scale industry would get power at Rs. 6.35 per unit whereas earlier it was Rs. 6.46 resulting in reduction by 36 and 11 paisa per unit respectively.

Announcing a major initiative, the Deputy Chief Minister said the peak load hours restrictions surcharge was earlier being levied at Rs. 2 per unit on the industry but now this charge has been waived off thereby giving a relief of Rs. 200 crore per month to the industry. He also said this would also reduce the use of generators leading to decrease in the environmental pollution in the state also.

Coming to the transmission and distribution (T&D) losses, the Deputy Chief Minister expressed strong hope that these losses would be reduced from the present 14 percent to the level of 10 percent during the course of next 5 years resulting in saving of Rs. 1000 crore approximately of the state exchequer which would in turn lead to Punjab occupying numero uno spot in comparison to the other states.

Disclosing more, S. Badal said before 2007, the state power sector reeled from the inadequate generation capacity leading to long power cuts and weekly off days on industry, overloaded transmission and distribution system, inadequate power supply, high T&D losses, no IT intervention for consumer services besides financial crunch. But this gloomy scenario changed for the better with the SAD-BJP government taking over in 2007.

Giving details he said the SAD-BJP government had commissioned 3 ultra modern power plants having installed capacity of 3920 MW at a cost of more than Rs. 23000 crore besides increasing total availability from little more than 7000 MW to nearly 13000 MW. He also said that with the persistent efforts of the SAD-BJP government the additional allocation of 2272.13 MW power from 6 ultra mega power projects was made.

Giving more details, the Deputy Chief Minister said an ultra modern critical thermal power plant to generate 2400 MW power at Rupnagar would be setup by replacing the old plant. Besides, another thermal power project near Hazipur in Mukerian (Hoshiarpur) has been planned with 1320 MW (2X660 MW) capacity.

Highlighting transmission and distribution as one of the high performing sectors, the Deputy Chief Minister said transmission capacity had increased from 16000 MVA to nearly 28000 MVA and T&D losses have been reduced from 24 percent to nearly 14 percent. He also said SAD-BJP tenure has seen investment of more than 4000 crore in the transmission system besides Punjab becoming the first state to have 400 KV ring main for intra state transmission system. Besides, the PSPCL had commissioned 177 new 66KV grid sub-stations and augmented 256, 66 KV grid sub stations.

Providing more insights, the Deputy Chief Minister said all the farmers holding less than 2.5 acres of land were being given tubewell connections and the target is to release 1.50 lakh more connections. He also said that 6500 dera/dhanies would be provided 24×7 power supply by the end of this year while the 2100 dera/dhanies had already been connected with UPS feeders.

Listing other achievements, S. Badal said free power up to 200 units every month is being provided to every SC/BPL households along with free electricity to all the tubewells and subsidized tariff for fishery, goatry, piggery and mushroom growers to encourage crop diversification.

He also said that in view of the above mentioned milestones, the PSPCL has been awarded with A+ rating by the Union Government besides being conferred “Best performing power utility in the country” award by the Central board of Irrigation & Power.

Cautioning the AAP and Congress parties to desist from defaming the state, he challenged them to spell out their developmental agenda and compete with the SAD-BJP government on the plank of progress and development instead of leveling baseless allegations and bringing disrepute to the state.

Taking to task those responsible for branding Punjab as a drug haven, the Deputy Chief Minister said as per the union government’s reply in the Rajya Sabha, Maharashtra State leads in maximum number of deaths related to the usage of drugs. He said in 2014 a total of 3647 suicides were reported throughout the country due to drug problem out of which Maharashtra alone accounted for 1372 while Tamil Nadu reported 552, Kerala 475 and Madhya Pradesh 305 whereas Punjab accounted for just 38 deaths which comes around to 1 percent of the total deaths. “With these figures Punjab stands at 12th position and the data refutes the malicious propaganda of opposition parties which are resorting to defame the state”, he said.

On the occasion, industry minister Madan Mohan Mittal, rural development & panchayats minister Sikander Singh Maluka, CPS Sarup Chand Singla, media advisor to the Deputy CM Jangveer Singh, Secretary power A. Venu Parsad, special principal secretary to the Deputy CM Rahul Tewari and Ajay Mahajan and chairman PSPCL K.D. Chaudhari were also present.