The Fact News Service
Chandigarh, May 15
Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) president Sukhbir Singh Badal today said the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) had mastered the politics of lies and deception by invoking a massive power hike across all categories of consumers immediately after winning the Jalandhar parliamentary by-poll.
Demanding an immediate withdrawal of the back-breaking hike, the SAD president said “AAP has penalized Punjabis for reposing faith in the party and betrayed their trust”.
In a statement here, the SAD president said “AAP contested the Jalandhar by-poll by showcasing its 300 units free power scheme. Even that has been effectively dismantled with today’s power hike. Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann’s contention that the Punjab government will subsidize consumers for the additional cost borne by them while availing the 300 unit’s free scheme by paying the same to PSPCL is an eye wash. The government already owes Rs 20,400 crore to PSPCL and is in no position to take on an additional burden”.
Sukhbir Badal said “The AAP government has increased the power tariff of all categories, including the lowest brackets. In fact the increase has been the most for the lowest categories with consumers in the zero to 100 units facing an increase of 70 paisa per unit and those in the 100 to 300 unit’s category facing a hike of 80 paisa per unit”.
Asserting that the common man would be most affected, Badal said “AAP has shown its true colours. It has proved that it cannot be trusted. It deliberately postponed the power hike till after the Jalandhar parliamentary by-poll and is again lying to consumers that it will subsidize the weaker sections. If it aims to do so then why has it imposed this hike in the first place?” the SAD president asked.
Badal said it was also galling that the Badlav wali Sarkar had dealt a double whammy to power consumers by increasing fixed charges for all consumer categories by Rs 15 per kilowatt.
“This coupled with the hike in commercial and industrial categories will make industries unviable in Punjab and is likely to witness another wave of exodus of industries to neighboring States”.
The SAD president said “it seems the AAP government is also conspiring to make the free power subsidy granted to farmers by former chief minister S Parkash Singh Badal unviable. It has increased agriculture supply for pump sets from Rs 5.66 per unit to Rs 6.55 per unit which will further increase the power subsidy payable to PSPCL on which the AAP government is already defaulting”.
Badal also condemned the manner in which power charges for Sri Darbar Sahib and Sri Durgiana Mandir had been increased by 30 paisa per unit. He demanded this hike be withdrawn immediately.
Asking the chief minister to release subsidy due to PSPCL by downsizing the Rs 750 crore advertising budget and curbing corruption, Mr Badal said, “PSPCL is in dire need of money as it is unable to even spare money for routine repairs of transformers and grids. This is bound to have an adverse impact on farmers and the agriculture economy in the forthcoming paddy transplantation season”.
He also highlighted how the AAP government had bankrupted PSPCL which was ranked the number one State utility during the tenure of S Parkash Singh Badal.