The State government on Friday told the Assembly that it is obliged to provide uninterrupted power to all factories that were established through the signing of Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs).
The explanation came from Electricity and Prohibition and Excise Minister Natham R Viswanathan and Industries Minister R Thangamani in response to demands from the opposition benches for equitable distribution of power.
The issue was raised by CPIM’s Dindigul MLA K Balabharathy, who asked questions of why large companies were being provided uninterrupted power while smaller units were subject to long power outages. The issue was raised when Balabharathy was speaking in the discussion on the demand for grants of the Industries Department.
“As we have told this House numerous times, we have attracted all this investment into our State by signing MoUs with these companies. We are obliged to provide uninterrupted power to them. At the same time, I would like to point out that these factories provide jobs to thousands of people,” said Viswananthan. He reiterated the government’s commitment that the power situation would start easing up around June leading to phased reductions in the power outages and that Tamil Nadu would soon be a power surplus State.
Thangamani bolstered the government’s case by saying it was not just multinational companies that were receiving uninterrupted power. “There are Indian companies too, TVS being one of them, whom we have signed MoUs with. Their factories are doing well and are providing jobs,” he said. He also assuaged the anxiety of some members, by reiterating the government’s commitment against acquiring agricultural lands to set up industrial parks.
Thangamani made a number of announcements of the activities to be taken up by the Industries Department during 2013-14. The Tamil Nadu Newsprint and Papers Ltd (TNPL) received significant attention with a number of announcements aimed at improving capacity and efficiency.
TNPL is set to get a machine to convert surplus paper pulp for later reuse, two twin roll presses, rewinders, new boilers, generators and motors to create the capacity for better planned usage of resources. TNPL would also see the expansion of its warehouse for finished products and a slew of measures aimed at taking advantage of the heat generated to effect power saving and other economies.