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Price of rice, water may go up amid power tariff hike in Karnataka

Karnataka Minister M B Patil asserted that the power tariff was increased by the Karnataka Electricity Regulatory Commission (KERC) and not the state government. (REUTERS)

The Karnataka State Rice Millers’ Association (KSRMA) has hinted that the rice prices may be increased in the state by about ₹3 to ₹4 per kg.

Traders and small business owners held protest rallies in several parts of Karnataka and observed a one day strike on Thursday opposing the recent power tariff hike, even as the state’s Medium and Large Scale Industries Minister M B Patil appealed to them to cooperate with the state government. He asserted that the power tariff was increased by the Karnataka Electricity Regulatory Commission (KERC) and not the state government.

Traders and small business owners held protest rallies in several parts of Karnataka and observed a one day strike on Thursday opposing the recent power tariff hike, even as the state’s Medium and Large Scale Industries Minister M B Patil appealed to them to cooperate with the state government. He asserted that the power tariff was increased by the Karnataka Electricity Regulatory Commission (KERC) and not the state government.

Meanwhile, the Karnataka State Rice Millers’ Association (KSRMA) has hinted that the rice prices may be increased in the state by about ₹three to ₹four per kg. “It is not us who are increasing the price. The power tariff and paddy prices have gone up. The hike will be by ₹three to ₹four per kg across the fine rice varieties,” KSRMA General Secretary S Shiva Kumar said.

Following a call for a ‘bandh’ given by Hubballi-based Karnatak Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI), industrialists and small traders participated in a protest march in big numbers. Their protests came at a time when the state government started the registration process earlier this week for the ‘Gruha Jyoti’ scheme offering up to 200 units of free electricity for residential connections.

Carrying banners, posters and placards, the traders and industrialists held marches in the district headquarters of Hubballi-Dharwad, Shivamogga, Belagavi, Ballari, Vijayanagar, Davangere and Koppal, among others. They shouted slogans demanding that the government roll back the hike. In Belagavi, a large number of traders and small-and-micro industry owners marched up to the office of the Deputy Commissioner with their banners and placards.

KCCI acting president Sandeep Bidasaria claimed that the hike in power tariff has gone up between 50 and 70 per cent, which has deeply impacted small businesses. A protester in Belagavi, a city bordering Maharashtra, alleged that many industries were planning to move out to the neighbouring state due to the drastic increase in tariff.

Many shops were shut and production was stopped in small industries in several parts of the state in response to the bandh call. In the district headquarters town of Bidar, several shops were shut and the main market wore a deserted look following the Bandh. In an attempt to make the protestors see reason, Minister Patil said, “First of all, the power tariff has not been hiked by us. Karnataka Electricity Regulatory Commission, an autonomous body, has increased the power tariff before our government came to power. So we have no connection with the power tariff hike”.

According to him, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah too has given a statement that the power tariff hike cannot be rolled back. However, Patil told reporters that he would discuss the matter with Siddaramaiah and Energy Minister K J George. “I appeal to everyone, the industries and others, to please cooperate. KERC keeps revising prices from time to time. It follows a procedure. It is not done by the government. They revised the tariff now and will do it in future as well,” the minister said.

Amid speculations that the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board was also planning to revise the water supply charges, an official said a BWSSB team apprised Deputy Chief Minister D K Shivakumar, who holds the Bengaluru Development portfolio, on the issues. “We told the DCM that we have not revised the water supply charges for the past 10 years and it’s about time to increase the rate given the increase in input costs. The decision has not been taken yet. The matter is under consideration,” the official said.

https://www.hindustantimes.com/cities/bengaluru-news/price-of-rice-water-may-go-up-amid-power-tariff-hike-in-karnataka-101687440264100.html QR Code

Published Date: June 23, 2023

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