Puducherry government plans to give subsidy to offset power tariff hike: Namassivayam

This increase was necessitated by a rise in the cost of power purchase, which now requires an additional Rs 148 crores.
A Namassivayam
Puducherry Minister for Home, Power, Education, and Industries A Namassivayam(Photo | R Sriram, EPS)

PUDUCHERRY: In a bid to mitigate the recent power tariff hike, the Puducherry government is planning to provide subsidies to domestic consumers, said Minister for Home, Power, Education, and Industries A Namassivayam on Monday.

The Joint Electricity Regulatory Commission (JERC) had approved a power tariff hike of Rs 60 paise to Rs 75 paise per unit for domestic consumers, based on a petition filed by the Electricity Department. Namassivayam, speaking to reporters, stated that the new rates have not yet been implemented and the government would be filing a review petition before JERC, seeking a reduction in the rates. This increase was necessitated by a rise in the cost of power purchase, which now requires an additional Rs 148 crores.

“We will meet the Union Power Minister to request a reduction in the rates,” said Namassivayam, adding that the government is exploring alternate ways of reducing the tariff through subsidies. A decision will be taken after discussions with Chief Minister N Rangasamy, who holds the finance portfolio.

Meanwhile, Namassivayam denied the opposition’s allegations of a rift between AINRC and the BJP. He accused the opposition of attempting to create divisions for political gain and clarified that it is normal for any minister to meet the lieutenant governor, who is the administrator, and politicizing these meetings is unwarranted.

Namassivayam further said that the recent meetings between CM Rangasamy and the Lt. Governor  C  P  Radhakrishnan discussed various issues, including the provision of free rice instead of cash, as preferred by the beneficiaries of the free rice scheme. Additionally, they discussed strategies to revive defunct public sector undertakings such as PASIC and PAPSCO and other issues.

On the issue of the involvement of bootleggers and peddlers from Puducherry in the recent hooch tragedy at Kallakurichi, Namassivayam stated that the government would act based on the full report from the ongoing inquiry by the Tamil Nadu government. Although Madesh, a key suspect, has been arrested in Puducherry, he is known to have residences in various locations across Tamil Nadu. Besides several other arrests have been made across Tamilnadu.

He further said that steps are being taken to fill vacant teaching positions in schools. The Departmental Promotion Committee (DPC) will soon convene to fill 67 lecturer posts. Additionally, a fee committee will establish the fee structure for private schools, he said.

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