Under fire from the Opposition and some of his party MLAs over high electricity charges, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Monday announced to rationalise power tariffs. The announcement was made by the chief minister here at a press conference organised to mark the completion of three years of the Congress government in the state.
“Realising that domestic electricity consumers deserve relief in power tariffs, we have decided to rationalise electricity tariffs in a manner that reduces their burden, making it more affordable to the common man,” Singh said.
He said the final details could be given only after the approval of Punjab State Electricity Regulatory Commission. He also promised that a white paper on the state’s power sector would be brought out shortly.
Before the CM made this announcement, Punjab Congress chief Sunil Jakhar raised the issue of the power purchase agreements (PPAs) signed with three private plants, describing these as a “white elephant” and a “leech which was sucking blood”.
The Congress government in the state is facing criticism over the delay in renegotiating the agreements signed with the private plants by the previous SAD-BJP regime. Jakhar, party MP Partap Singh Bajwa and Congress MLA Pargat Singh has been seeking renegotiation to lower power tariffs.
Last month, the CM had announced that his government would renegotiate the PPAs and had blamed the previous SAD-BJP government for the agreements, saying these were signed by them to “defraud” the state and its people.
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) had sought the scrapping of the PPAs signed by the previous SAD-BJP government.