Factories, the small and medium scale industrial units in particular, resorted to an extensive shutdown as a mark of protest against hike in power tariff by the Government of Uttar Pradesh on Thursday.
Reportedly, more than 7,000 units in the industrial city of Kanpur would remain shut owing to the hike in electricity tariff.
The state government had announced increase in electricity duty from 9 paise per unit to 7.5 percent of the electricity bill, which amounts to 400 to 600 percent.
Consequently, the industrialists claimed that their electricity bills have increased by 35 to 40 percent and they were getting electricity at 50 to 60 percent higher price than other states.
According to the local chapter of Indian Industries Association (IIA), the shutdown would have cascading effect on other business activities and the state government would incur heavy losses in terms of revenue.
The Chairman of the Dada Nagar Industrial Estate in Kanpur, Vijay Kapoor, said that the power tariff hike has adversely affected not only the owners of the industries but also the workers, a majority among them being daily wage earners.
"The increase in the power tariff by 40 percent has hit the industrialists and the workers. The Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh state had asked the members of the UP Power Corporation Limited (UPPCL) to take a decision on the power tariff. The members of UPPCL are no less than Kasab (Ajmal Kasab). They do not want to work in the interest of Yadav. Akhilesh Yadav wants the development. The government hanged the person who killed 166 people but there is no one to question them who are making the lives of the people miserable. The workers are on the verge of dying and the industrialists are planning to shift. They want the Uttar Pradesh government to reduce the tax," said Kapoor.
However, various trade and industry associations protested against this move.
An industrialist, Ravindra Aggarwal, said if the government failed to rollback the rise in power tariff, the industries would intensify their agitation.
"We want that the a roll-back of the hiked power tariff. If the rates are not taken back then we will continue to protest. 75 percent of the work has been affected," said Aggarwal.
The Uttar Pradesh Power Corporation Limited had presented its aggregate revenue requirement (ARR) proposals to UP Energy Regulatory Commission in June for a hike in electricity tariff for industries. (ANI)