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February 18, 2014

WB CM slashes power tariff by reducing production cost, without subsidies

WB CM slashes power tariff by reducing production cost, without subsidies

West Bengal government has decided to slash the power tariff in the next financial year. Chief Minister Ms. Mamata Banerjee today declared in the Assembly that her government would reduce the power tariff in 2014-15 by five to seven paise per unit.

She said despite cascading cost of fuel, coal and hike in train freight charges, “we have been struggling hard to reduce power tariff to give relief to the common people.”  The power department has enhanced the efficiency of its power utilities, succeeded in cost control and saved Rs 1500 crore without the state government providing subsidy.

The CM said the power department will ensure that the BPL/ APL category of people as well as the industrial units are benefited. She put the savings at Rs 1,500 crore, suggesting that they will be passed on to the consumers.

“I don`t want to raise tariff. I am trying to fight it out. We have to stand by the people by not increasing subsidy,” the WB CM said in her address at the Assembly this morning.

“By reducing the cost of production, planning and departmental expenditure, we have managed to save around Rs 1,500 crore. People will have to pay less tariff in 2014-15 than what they did in 2013-14. This is a commoners` government,” she added.

The current average tariff for power supplied by the state utility to its 1.1 crore customers is Rs 5.93 a unit, excluding a government subsidy of 25 paise on every unit. Those availing themselves of power from private utility CESC in Calcutta and Howrah pay an average tariff of Rs 6.17 a unit.

“We have to strike a balance between industry and domestic consumers. We will distribute it accordingly. At different stages, the value of reduction will be different –  Is it not a big achievement?” the Chief Minister asked.