Maharashtra Steel Industry Seeks Continuation of Power Subsidy
PTI reported that the Maharashtra steel industry has urged the state government to resume power subsidies for enterprises and provide a higher budgetary allocation of INR 1,800 crore for this to support industries in backward regions such as Marathwada and Vidarbha. Steel Manufacturers Association of Maharashtra President Mr Yogesh Mandhani has demanded that the government should increase the annual subsidy from INR 1,200 crore to INR 1,800 crore from this current financial year itself and has also submitted a memorandum to Energy Minister Mr Nitin Raut in this regard. Mr Mandhani said "We have demanded to remove the imbalances of the industry in the state by allocating subsidy. Due to the highest tariff, the state's companies could not compete with the neighbouring states like Chhattisgarh, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh, which are having lower tariffs and other beneficial incentives. We request the government to provide a budgetary allocation of INR 2,500 crore annual to incentives industries, as many more industries are likely to come due to this subsidy.”
To boost industry in backward regions in the state, the state government had introduced a subsidy on power tariff for industries in Marathwada, Vidarbha and Khandesh regions in line with the recommendations of the Vijay Kelkar committee. The per-unit cost of electricity had come down to 5 from 8 earlier due to the subsidy provided by the government. Initially, no capping was done but later, the government budgeted this subsidy to INR 1,200 crore a yea via Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Co Ltd but the amount was exhausted in December 2020 and industries are now paying the power bill at the full rate.