Port Blair, June 17: Mr. Vishal Jolly, former BJP State President in a letter to the Minister of State for Home Affairs has raised issues faced by MSME sector, especially the hospitality sector of Andaman & Nicobar Islands due to electricity tariff hike in contravention of JERC Order.
He mentioned in his letter that recently a judgment was passed by Joint Electricity Regulatory Commission (JERC) for Goa & UT’s on 2nd Dec, 2020 wherein while disagreeing to proposed hike in electricity tariff of industrial units from Rs 8/ to Rs 15/unit and commercial rates from Rs 12/ to Rs 15/unit, The Chairperson, JERC, in his wisdom, ordered that MSME’s having Udyam Registration including hospitality sector shall be charged electricity at Industrial rates in A&N islands.
“Unfortunately, in contravention of JERC’s Order, islands Electricity Department handed MSME’s a rude shock by charging MSME’s at commercial rates. To add to their woes, they are also being threatened with power disconnection in case MSME’s fail to pay electricity bills at commercial rates,” Mr. Jolly mentioned.
In his letter he added that the Government of India has taken several steps to mitigate the impact of pandemic including waiver of property taxes, discounts in power tariffs etc in the country.
“Far from providing such any relief, A&N Administration is making it hard for MSME’s by increasing electricity tariffs by nearly 100% creating an existential crisis for tourism & allied sectors in the island. Keeping in view the JERC’s Order and the welfare of MSME sector, I request you to kindly direct A&N Administration to comply with JERC’s, 2nd Dec 2020 Order and charge the MSME’s accordingly,” Mr. Jolly added.