Assam CM Sonowal
Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal.

The North Eastern Tea Association (NETA) has sought Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal’s intervention over recent hike in electricity tariff.

The appeal from the NETA came days after the Assam Power Distribution Company Limited (APDCL) proposed to hike the electricity tariff on fixed charge and energy charge.

There here is a separate category of tariff for tea, coffee and rubber plantations and tariff of this category is second highest after oil & coal sectors.

The APDCL has recently proposed to increase tariff in the coming financial year 2020-2021 in all categories, from Rs. 250.00 to Rs. 320.00, a hike of 28 percent and energy charge from Rs. 7.15 per unit to Rs. 8.75 per unit, a hike of 22.3 percent.

“Assam Tea Industry is already under threat due to adverse market scenario, which is prevailing for last few years. Such a steep hike of fixed charge and energy charge on electricity consumption will be detrimental for the Assam tea industry,” NETA adviser, Bidyananda Barkakoty said.

He said the tea industry is already under tremendous strain due to hike of input costs and low realisation of tea prices.

“Tea being an agriculture commodity providing employment opportunity to large scale of rural population in Assam, the need of the hour is to support this agriculture based rural industry,” he pointed out.

“We understand the need to hike electricity tariff by APDCL. The hike should be as per cost inflation on all commodities, otherwise such an abnormal hike will adversely affect ailing tea industry of Assam,” he said while appealing the chief minister for his intervention.

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