UDAY scheme not people-friendly: Tamil Nadu power minister

Chennai, March 29 (IANS) Tamil Nadu Eletricity Minister Natham R. Viswanathan on Tuesday came down heavily on union Power Minister Piyush Goyal and the Ujwal DISCOM Assurance Yojana (UDAY) scheme, which he said was “not people-friendly”.

Reacting to Goyal’s statement at a recent meeting in New Delhi that he was not able to meet Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J.Jayalalithaa despite several attempts, he said: “Goyal fogetting himself and forgoing his respectable position had levelled a false charge that he was not able to meet the chief minister. He also said Tamil Nadu has not signed the MoU with the central government for implementing UDAY in the state.”

Viswanathan said that the UDAY scheme would not benefit neither the state nor its people but only the private power producers and the banks.

He said Jayalalithaa always believes that schemes are for the people and not people for the schemes.

Viswanathan said Jayalalithaa had written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on October 23, 2015 on how UDAY can be redesigned to benefit all the stakeholders but there was no reply from either him or Goyal.

He said that as per the scheme, the power tariff has to be revised upwards, based on the fuel price, every three months which is not people-friendly.

He said the central government should have reduced the coal prices if it really wanted to help the people, power distribution companies and the state governments instead of hiking it.

He charged the UDAY as a scheme with a short term view.

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