In a statement issued by him in this regard, "The news that the electricity Board has decided to increase the electricity tariff again from next month is shocking as the electricity Regulatory Commission has given permission to increase the electricity tariff based on the increase in consumer price index in tamil Nadu. Another power hike in 10 months is an attack on people.
An application was made to the tamil Nadu electricity Regulatory Commission last year seeking permission to increase the electricity tariff to cover the losses of the tamil Nadu electricity Board. The same electricity Regulatory Commission has given permission to increase the electricity tariff. Based on that, the electricity tariff was increased from september last year. electricity tariff has been hiked up to a maximum of 52% for some categories. Apart from that, the regulatory authority allowed hike in electricity tariff in July every year till 2026 and 2027 based on consumer price index hike every year. That is what the tamil Nadu electricity Board is trying to implement now.
The electricity tariff shall be increased by the rate of inflation or 6%, whichever is lower, as per the consumer price index for the month of April, the beginning of the financial year. Since last April's inflation was 4.70%, which is less than 6%, it is likely that electricity tariff will be hiked by 4.70% from next month.
If the tamil Nadu government decides to implement it just because the electricity Regulatory Commission has given permission, it will be an irreparable disaster. electricity tariff in tamil Nadu has not been hiked for 10 years; Raised only 10 months ago. The public is yet to recover from the impact of the electricity tariff hike. In many households, essential services, including milk, have to be sacrificed to meet the additional cost of rising electricity bills.
The damage caused to small, micro and medium enterprises by the rise in electricity tariff cannot be overstated. A large number of small and micro enterprises have been shut down as they could not afford the hike in electricity rates. Similarly, the power loom owners have also left the industry as they could not bear the impact of the hike in power charges. A large part of the profits made by small traders is spent on electricity bills. In such an environment, if the electricity tariff is increased once again, all traders, small and micro entrepreneurs, including others, will be caught in an irreversible economic crisis.
It is impractical to increase the electricity tariff on the basis of inflation despite all these. Even the tamil Nadu government, which submits a financial statement of Rs 3.5 lakh crore annually, has not been able to increase the dearness allowance of government employees in line with inflation over the past few years. Only last May, after a long struggle, the central government has given equal dearness allowance to the employees. When the state government itself cannot increase the tariff in line with inflation, how can the public increase the electricity bill in line with inflation?
Apart from that, 90% of people in tamil Nadu do not have income growth of even 2% per annum. Such people cannot afford a 4.70% increase in electricity bill. This is the second time in the history of tamil Nadu that electricity tariff has been hiked for the second time in 10 months. When the people of tamil Nadu are under severe pressure due to the increase in electricity tariff announced last year, the price of petrol, diesel, cooking gas which has reached an all-time high, and the change in the price of essential commodities due to them, they cannot bear another burden.
Therefore, the electricity Board should abandon the decision to increase the electricity tariff from July. Apart from that, I urge the government to take steps to exempt the electricity Regulatory Commission from implementing the order to increase the electricity tariff in July every year till 2026 and 2027.''