The Kanara Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI), Mangaluru, has said that the decision of the Mescom (Mangalore Electricity Supply Company) Ltd to propose an increase of ₹1 per unit of power will reward inefficiency in the distribution of power.
In a letter to the Karnataka Chief Minister, BS Yediyurappa, the president of KCCI, Isaac Vas, said that there is a need for the government to exert pressure on Escoms to reduce their distribution losses and overheads and be more efficient.
Opposing Mescom’s proposal to hike power tariff, which has been submitted to the state electricity regulator, he said the proposed hike would reward inefficiency in the distribution of power and will allow such inefficiencies to continue.
The letter said that most of the members of the electricity regulatory body are retired officers of Escoms. Stating that the regulatory body is the approving authority for increasing tariff, he said it amounts to ‘conflict of interest’.
KCCI said that industry and professional bodies should have a suitable representation in the board of the regulator. This will allow the regulator to advise Escoms to follow best practices of distribution and efficiency in power management rather than give in to their demand for an increase in tariff, he said.
Mentioning the decision of Mescom to propose an increase in power tariff by ₹1 per unit, Vas said Bescom (Bengaluru Electricity Supply Company) has not increased tariff and even proposed a reduction for HT industrial consumers.
He said both the MSMEs (micro, small and medium enterprises) and the common man will be severely affected, if the proposal gets approval from the regulator.
“We wish to inform you that the MSME sector will completely collapse if the power tariff is hiked. We request that Mescom reduce their distribution losses and overheads instead of putting an additional burden on the consumers. The impact of the hike will be particularly disastrous for the MSMEs as they struggle to revive operations from the Covid pandemic and severe slowdown in the economy,” he said in the letter to the Chief Minister.