CHENNAI: The Tamil Electricity Regulatory Commission (TNERC) on Thursday announced about 15 per cent tariff hike for all consumers in the State with effect from Friday.
However, as promised by former Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa, the State government has come to the rescue of all sections of the people — domestic consumers, farmers, handloom and powerloom weavers and places of worship by announcing that it would bear the hike on their behalf.
Chief Minister O Panneerselvam announced that the State government will pay an additional subsidy of Rs 1,310.23 crore to the Tamil Nadu Electricity Board (TNEB) caused by the present tariff hike. In all, the government will pay an overall subsidy of Rs 6,295 crore to the TNEB. A top TNEB official said the tariff hike would mop up Rs 5,400 crore in additional revenue.
Giving the split, the Chief Minister, in a statement here, said the government would bear the tariff hike for 1.61 crore domestic consumers who use up to 500 units bi-monthly, that is, 94 per cent of the domestic consumers need not pay any extra amount.
As of now, the total number of domestic consumers stands at 1.71 crore. The government will pay Rs 2,714.03 crore as subsidy to the TNEB on behalf of domestic consumers.
For the farmers too, the State government will bear the tariff hike and free power supply will continue for them. As many as 20,47,000 will be benefitted by this measure. Already, the government is paying a subsidy of Rs 2,642 crore for the farmers. In addition to this, the government will pay Rs 426.99 crore as subsidy for them.
For places of worship, the government will bear the hike and pay Rs 1.4 crore as subsidy, taking the total subsidy to Rs 10.79 crore.
The hike for domestic consumers would be between 40 and 85 paise per unit. The Commission has effected the hike as proposed in its earlier announcement. For High Tension consumers, the Commission has slightly reduced the tariff from the proposed one.
Free power supply will continue for around 11,83,000 hutments and the government will pay Rs 28.39 crore as subsidy towards power tariff hike for hutments to the TNEB. The total subsidy for hutments would go up to Rs 224.54 crore.
For handloom weavers, free power is given to those who use 100 units in two months and for those who use above 100 units, they are being charged as per the tariff for domestic consumers. As such, the government will pay Rs 11.6 crore as subsidy towards the power consumed for handloom weavers, which includes Rs 1.57 crore after the present tariff hike.
For 1,30,000 powerloom weavers who consume above 500 units, the government will pay a subsidy of Rs 17.25 crore.
TNERC notified the proposed hike in September and held public hearings in Chennai, Tirunelveli and Erode to get people’s views.