Maharashtra cabinet led by Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan is scheduled to meet on Wednesday to decide on reducing the existing power tariffs for residential, commercial and industrial consumers across the state.
Today’s cabinet meets comes in the wake of demands made by AICC secretary and MP Sanjay Nirupam that Maharashtra government should also reduce tariff for power consumption of less than 500 units per month in the city.
The Congress MP demanded a cut in power tarrif apparently taking cue from Delhi government’s decision of 50 percent cut in power tariff.
In a letter to Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan, the Mumbai North Lok Sabha MP said power tariff should be substantially reduced for those whose consumption is less than 500 units per month.
The Congress MP said if the legitimate expectation of the entire middle class and slum population is not met in the immediate future, he will launch an agitation against the government.
Nirupam also demanded that an inquiry be set up to investigate the cost structure and pricing mechanism adopted by power distribution companies.
He said the Delhi government’s decision will benefit the middle class and slum dwellers.
Reacting to Nirupam’s demand, the Chief Minister said, “The state has to think on the extent of relief it can give to consumers.”
However, Chavan indicated that the government is thinking about the quantum of relief and had more or less made up its mind to go ahead with the plan.
A decision might be taken in about a fortnight, some state government officials also said.
In today’s meting, the cabinet is expected to discus sops for electricity consumers in the state and possible ways to reduce tariffs in Mumbai and other areas.
Media reports said that the Maharashtra government would need Rs 1,600 crore to reduce power bills by 50% for those consuming less than 400 units a month in Mumbai (the model that the AAP government in Delhi has decided to implement).
State cabinet sources said the Narayan Rane committee had already given positive recommendations in this regard and suggested a range of subsidies that could vary between Rs 2,000 crore and Rs 8,000 crore.
Though Mumbai was not in the scope of the Rane committee’s report, the city’s scenario too was discussed at length and it was decided to come out with some sops for Mumbai consumers too.