Power consumers to fill coffers of cash-hit MC

CHANDIGARH: From next month, you will have to pay extra from your pocket to run the cash-starved Municipal Corporation (MC) as UT Administrator VP Singh Badnore has approved a proposal of the MC to levy municipal cess of 10 paise per unit on power bills.

Power consumers to fill coffers of cash-hit MC

editorial@tribune.com

Ramkrishan Upadhyay

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 4

From next month, you will have to pay extra from your pocket to run the cash-starved Municipal Corporation (MC) as UT Administrator VP Singh Badnore has approved a proposal of the MC to levy municipal cess of 10 paise per unit on power bills.

The proposal was pending with the UT Administration for long. The levy will put an additional burden on more than two lakh consumers.

The General House of the MC had, in October last year, approved the imposition of municipal cess on consumption of power.

The MC aims to earn a revenue of nearly Rs 10-17 crore per annum with the new levy.

The MC had come up with the proposal on the pattern of the Punjab Government, which has already levied municipal cess.

A senior official of the UT Administration said the approval had been given on the recommendation of the MC House, but electricity was still cheaper in the city in comparison to Punjab and Haryana. Sources in the MC said the step would help the civic body, which was facing its worst financial crisis, manage its affairs. Many development works in the city were stopped due to a paucity of funds.

Meanwhile, residents are opposing the new levy in power bills.

Narinder Sharma, general secretary, Indian Citizens’ Forum, and RK Garg, president, Second Innings Association, questioned why people should be paying more for running the MC, which was not doing its work properly?

Garg said the major chunk of the MC Budget was spent on salary and hardly any funds were left for development works. Sharma said residents had already been paying extra charges for electricity on a quarterly basis on account of fuel and power purchase and cost adjustment (FPPCA) charges.

The Joint Regulatory Electricity Commission (JERC) has authorised the UT Electricity Department to compute fuel and power procurement cost variations on a quarterly basis and recover it from the consumers.

Levy to burden over 2 Lakh consumers 

  • An MC proposal to levy municipal cess on power consumption was pending with the UT Administration for long  
  • The levy will put an additional burden on over 2 lakh power consumers in the city
  • The General House of the MC had, in October last year, approved the imposition of municipal cess
  • The MC aims to earn a revenue of nearly Rs 10-17 crore per annum with the new levy 

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