A CROSS section of Punjab industry feels that despite shortage of electricity, the regulations over its use are plenty, and as a result industrial growth receives a setback. The Apex Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Punjab) has brought it to the knowledge of Chief Minister Prakash Singh Badal and the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) that these regulations need to be eased in the interest of the industry.
Industries have their connected load sanctioned by the PSEB as per contracts. While the consumers fix their maximum demand, if they “violate this, they have to pay a very heavy penalty. With this contract demand the concept of connected load becomes meaningless,” according to P D Sharma, president of the chamber.
Talking to ET on Friday, Mr Sharma said the industry has been requesting the board to do away with the concept of connected load and base its dealings with the consumers on the basis of contract demand. With competition coming from all fronts, constant upgradation of machinery becomes inevitable.
Accordingly, the industries have to install balancing equipment to meet the requirement of the competition. In view of this, marginal additional equipment may need to be installed.
“For consumers, it may not be possible to run to the board every time for getting the additional load sanctioned,” he averred.
He said, “In reality, every industry has some excess load in addition to the sanctioned load and what is worrisome is that the flying squads of the PSEB levy heavy penalty for this.”
He further said with electronic meters installed at the premises of the industries, the board should not insist on connected load, which is a source of unnecessary harassment to the industries. The 66 KV scheme is turning out to be a major hurdle in the growth of the industry, and therefore, it should be withdrawn. Those who do not shift to the scheme have to pay a heavy surcharge, which ranges between 10% and 17.5% for 25 KV and above.
He also urged the state government to consider replacing the ordinary incandescent electric bulbs, wherever possible with compact florescent lamps (CFLs). Ordinary incandescent electric bulbs are banned under Kyoto Protocol. International clean development mechanism has been instituted to facilitate the replacement of these bulbs with CFLs.
As the Centre is providing funds for the replacement of bulbs, the state should take advantage of this scheme. Haryana has already started this scheme, he said.