Punjab

SAD won’t allow Congress government to end free power facility through

June 12, 2018 06:03 PM

Punjab News Express
CHANDIGARH: The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) today said it would not allow the Congress government to scrap the free power facility given to farmers for agricultural operations as well as subsidized power facility given to industry, scheduled castes and below poverty line (BPL) beneficiaries through the back door.

Speaking about the Punjab State Electricity Regulatory Commission (PSERC) order to the State electricity utility to start charging these beneficiaries in case of default in disbursement of subsidy, former minister Bikram Singh Majithia said the entire move had been masterminded by the Congress government to end free power facility given to farmers and marginalized members of society by S Parkash Singh Badal. “This conspiracy against farmers, industry, dalits and BPL beneficiaries has been planned by the Congress government and is being executed by PSERC on the former’s express directions”.

Stating there could not be any other way at looking at this issue; Mr Majithia said the PSERC order had come close on the heels of the recommendation of the Punjab State Farmers and Farm Workers Commission to do away with free power facility to farmers with average land holdings which in itself was a cruel and inhuman recommendation. He said the Commission, which was directly under the government, simultaneously recommended reducing the entire power subsidy and followed up this move with media appearances designed to create an atmosphere for making this an actuality.”We will not let this conspiracy succeed and will launch an agitation to thwart it”, he added.

 Majithia said the Congress government had been scheming since months to withdraw the free power facility. “First it started the process of installing meters at grids to record power consumption of tubewells. Then it ordered that income tax payee farmers would not be given this facility. It also came up with a scheme to charge tariff for new tubewell connections. Now it has deliberately withheld power subsidy due to the state electricity utility – PSPCL and stage managed an order from the Regulatory Commission to do away with free power facility to farmers as well as subsidized power to industry and weaker sections”.

The SAD leader said the party would not sit quiet and let this gross injustice be perpetrated on farmers, industrialists or dalits and BPL beneficiaries at any cost. Farmers as well as farm labourers are facing a severe crisis after the Congress government refused to waive off their loans as promised. “More than 450 farmers have committed suicide. The industry will also not be able to bear an increase in power tariff after being promised power at Rs five per unit”.

Keeping all these facts in consideration Mr Majithia appealed to farmers as well as other beneficiaries to refuse to abide with any directive which was against the Congress government’s official stand that free power facility had not been ended. Beneficiaries of free and subsidized power don’t need to listen to any other directive which is against the State government’s stand on this issue”, he added.

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