Friday, December 12, 2008

YSR nixes Transco hike proposal

YSR nixes Transco hike proposal
Chief Minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy today vetoed Transco’s proposal to hike power charges by 10 paise per unit during 2009-10.
The chief minister reportedly told officials he was against even the marginal hike and instead asked them to improve internal efficiency to mop up additional resources.
Appreciating the efforts put in by the officials, which saw savings to the tune of about Rs 6,800 crore, Rajasekhara Reddy said he looked forward to the same commitment from them in the years to come. ``We have spent about Rs 6,200 crore since 2004-05 on buying additional power -- over and above what the State Government is spending on power subsidy -- and are planning to spend an additional Rs 3,000 crore by March 2009.
“Gas linkage from the K-G Basin will prove a boon to the power sector in the State. This is the reason why we waged a battle to get a major share in the K-G Basin gas reserves and the cost per unit of power generation will be less than Rs 2. The Government is also willing to spend Rs 10,000 crore to strengthen the power transmission and distribution system in the State,’’ he said.
Reddy also dwelt at length on the public appreciation of the Congress Government not hiking power charges since it came to power in 2004. Power reforms do not entail frequent tariff hikes, he said, and added: ``We will be doing a great service to the people if we do not increase the power charges’’.
He also recalled how a reduction of 40 paise per unit in power charges for industries had encouraged upcoming industrialists, and also mentioned how people below the poverty line had been given connections for Rs 125.
Transco CMD Suthirtha Bhattacharya informed the chief minister that consumer redressal forums would be put in place in Visakhapatnam, Tirupati, Vijayawada and Rajahmundry corporations soon.
These would be extended to the mandal level, he said, and pointed out that the number of consumers in the State now touched twow crore