The recent increase in electricity tariffs in Karnataka has caused controversy and a public backlash. The Karnataka Electricity Regulatory Commission (KERC) has approved a significant rate increase, raising concerns about the affordability of electricity for consumers. The decision comes just days after the implementation of the Gruha Jyoti scheme, which promised free electricity to consumers who fell under the 200-unit slab.
The decision to increase the electricity tariff was initially taken by the previous BJP government led by Basavaraj Bommai in March and was extended in May before being implemented under the current Congress government in June.
Starting in June, consumers within the 200+ unit slab will experience a substantial increase of ₹2.89 per unit. The increase consists of two components: the Fuel and Power Purchase Cost Adjustment (FPPCA) of ₹1.49 per unit, to be charged from June, and a carryover of ₹1.40 per unit from April and May.
The BJP held a protest against the decision, condemning the Congress government for charging people with higher electricity costs. BJP leaders called the move “anti-popular politics” and demanded the immediate withdrawal of the tariff increase.
Netizens also blamed the Congress government for the electricity tariff hike, but it was actually initiated by the previous BJP government. The FPPCA, which forms a major part of the tariff increase, was agreed to by the BJP government, with an increase of 49 paise per unit scheduled to reflect in March. Due to billing issues and time constraints, its implementation was delayed until June, after the rate order was approved on May 12.
Electricity price hike in Karnataka
Lavanya Ballal Jain, General Secretary for Media and Communications, Spokesperson for INCKarnataka and National Social Media Coordinator for INCIndia, recently took to social media to address the ongoing discussions surrounding the increase in electricity tariffs in Karnataka. In a video, she provided clarification and urged people to be careful about the circulation of misinformation.
She said that there has been a major debate on raising electricity tariffs in the state of Karnataka. She mentioned a press conference held by Bangura South MP and the active participation of Mr. Amit Malvia, whom she referred to as the “head of the troll army”, in tweeting about the tariff increase.
She also said that the power tariff increase was initially implemented by the previous BJP government in Karnataka. The fuel and power purchase cost adjustment (FPPCA) was agreed by the BJP government, with a proposed increase of 49 paise per unit. Originally scheduled to take effect in March, due to billing issues and time constraints, its implementation has been postponed until June. The tariff order was approved on May 12 by the then-deputy chief minister before the election results were announced.
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