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Karnataka: KCC&I Calls For State-Wide Strike on June 22 Due to Abnormal Electricity Price Hike

The KCC&I calls for a statewide bandh on June 22, 2023, in order to express their opposition to abnormal hikes in electricity rates.

Vivek Singh
Karnataka Electricity Grid (Photo Courtesy: Pixabay)
Karnataka Electricity Grid (Photo Courtesy: Pixabay)

The Karnataka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCC&I) has called for a statewide strike on June 22, 2023, to express their opposition to the significant increase in electricity rates. Despite numerous attempts over the past eight days to communicate the adverse effects of high electricity charges have been futile.

The KCC&I has urged all its members to actively participate in the strike as a means to send a clear message to the Siddaramaiah-led government. In an official statement, the organization stated, "We kindly request all businesses and industries to suspend their operations on June 22nd in protest against the exorbitant rise in electricity charges imposed by ESCOM."

Furthermore, the KCC&I emphasized its decision to organize a statewide strike with the aim of capturing the government's attention and facilitating a resolution that would lead to a reduction in electricity charges. The statement continued, "The District Chambers of Gadag, Bijapur, Ranebennur, Raichur, Talikoti, Vijayanagar, Mysore, Davangere, Koppal, Bagalkoti, Dharwad, Sirsi, Karwar, Bidar, Shimoga, Kolar, Mandya, Chikmagalur, Yadgir, Chitradurga, KalyanKarnataka, Haveri, Hassan, Bellar, and other Industry Associations have also expressed their support for this protest."

Surge in Electricity Prices: Rs 2.89 Per Unit Increase Due to Electricity Supply Companies' Proposals

Following the approval of proposals by the Karnataka Electricity Regulatory Commission (KERC), electricity prices experienced a significant surge. In June, a tariff order issued on May 12 resulted in a 70 paise per unit increase. Additionally, the arrears of 70 paise per unit from April were included in the June bills.

Moreover, an additional charge of Rs 1.49 per unit for fuel and power purchase agreements was implemented in June, while Rs 1.81 per unit was carried over to July. As a result, the overall tariff hike for June amounted to Rs 2.89 per unit.

Siddaramaiah Clarifies Government's Role in the Decision

During a conversation with the media, Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah addressed the concerns surrounding the electricity price hike. He clarified that the decision was not made by his government but rather by the KERC. Siddaramaiah stated, "The decision to increase electricity tariffs was not taken by us. The Karnataka Electricity Regulatory Authority is responsible for such decisions, which were made in the past. Our role has been limited to implementing them."

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