The Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Company (Tangedco), the power utility of the state government will not be pushing to withdraw the power subsidy for consumers. While the Tamil Nadu Electricity Regulatory Commission has given its green signal to withdraw the tariff subsidy, the Tangedco top brass has decided to continue with the subsidy.
Sources in Tangedco told IANS that this was due to the fact that the power utility had drawn flak from across the state after the recent power tariff hike. The opposition and general public had come out against the hike.
The government had mooted a proposal for the public to voluntarily give up the subsidy on power charges. At present for the first 100 units power is free in the state and for the next 101 to 200 units, there is a 50 per cent subsidy. This would mean that a consumer who prefers giving up a subsidy will have to pay Rs 675 extra.
Sources with the state power department told IANS that if Tangedco tries to implement the scheme there would be widespread criticism and, hence, the state is planning not to go overboard on the same. However, the state power department is planning a massive campaign blitz on how the Tangedco and the state will benefit if the people voluntarily give up the subsidies.
The campaign will be conducted with movie and television stars being roped in and the Tangedco and the state power department believes that if the campaign is extensively done, more people would voluntarily give up the subsidy thus leading to the Tangedco becoming stronger, financially.
C.M. Swamidas, Consumer Protection Chair of Madurai while speaking to IANS said, “Tangedco have to first make this a household discussion subject and then maybe people would be more inclined to give up the subsidies. Otherwise, this is loot.”