‘Farm power subsidy taking toll on industry’

Published: 21st February 2013 10:49 AM  |   Last Updated: 21st February 2013 10:49 AM   |  A+A-

The government’s scheme of free power supply to the agricultural sector has taken a huge toll on the industrial sector, the Federation of AP Chambers of Commerce and Industry has said.

Fapcci president Devender Surana told reporters here on Wednesday that the Rs 14,867-crore subsidy estimate for 2014 was thrice the approved subsidy of Rs 5,884 crore. “Every year the actual power supplied and its cost is higher than the estimate, and the amount required now is Rs 8,865 crore. It is being collected as fuel surcharge adjustment (FSA) from industries,” he said.

He said farm pump sets were running at 18 to 20 pc efficiency and power was being wasted. “With the use of good capacitors, the utility of the machines can be improved by over 60 pc,” he said.

While the industrial sector was suffering an acute shortage of power, the agricultural sector was given 12 pc more power. “And even though there is a 10 to 18 pc shortage of power, industries are facing power cuts up to 60 pc. This deficit has resulted in a huge losses to industries as well as Discoms,” Surana said.

SK Rungta, vice-president, said farmers must be charged at least for a part of  power consumption.

“The subsidy should be pegged at 20 pc in accordance with the national tariff policy and decisions of the appellate tribunal. Feeders should be separated for the industrial sector,’’ Surana said.

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