The Andhra Pradesh government, reeling under the political turmoil and churnings with in the ruling Congress party and facing a very tough situation in Telangana region due to the ongoing movement for a separate state, seems to be heading for even bigger trouble.
The government has announced a sharp increase in the electricity tariff, putting an additional burden of Rs 4,440 crore on all the categories of consumers.
The power distribution companies of the state, who were facing a deficit of more than Rs 11,000 crore had made a proposal of increasing their revenues by Rs 4,900 crore but the state electricity regulatory commission gave its nod only for Rs 4,440 crore.
However, the move is unlikely to go down well with the people and the opposition parties were gearing up for a agitation against the decision.
The Communist Party of India-Marxist was the first to come out against the sharp increase.
CPI-M state secretary B V Raghavulu said that the party will mobilise people against the hike.
On the whole, the power distribution companies had set a revenue target of Rs 36,090 crore. But post rate hike, they will have to be content with Rs 34,344 crore.
Of this, Rs 5,358 crore will come from the state government as subsidy and Rs 28,985 crore will come from the consumer.
Of the government subsidy, Rs 1,736 crore will go towards the domestic consumers, Rs 3,620 crore for the farmers and Rs 1.56 crore for irrigation.
Under the revised tariff, the domestic consumer will have to pay Rs 1.45 per unit for the consumption of up to 50 units of power, Rs 2.60 per unit for 50 to 100 units, Rs 3.60 per unit for 100 to 200 units slab, Rs 5.75 per unit for 300 to 400 units slab, Rs 6.75 for 400 to 500 units slab and Rs 7.25 per unit for the consumption of above 500 units.
Officials say that this revision will increase the burden of 10 to 15 per cent on the domestic consumers.
For the agriculture sector, which is getting a free electricity of 7 hours per day, consumption above the limit will attract a tariff of Rs 3.50 per unit.
The revised tariff will come in to effect from April 1.