Mangaluru, Jun 12: The Kanara Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) has appealed to the Karnataka government to consider the plight of the MSMEs and direct the power entity to charge a lower tariff than what is prescribed by the tariff regulations.
In a statement issued here on Saturday, KCCI President Isaac Vas said that the MSMEs have borne the major brunt of the pandemic and the lockdown. Due to the continuous lockdown during the first wave and once again from April 23 till date, there is no revenue for MSMEs.
However, MSMEs have no other choice than to pay various expenses, including salary, interest on debts, rent, security, and other expenses which are fixed in nature. As there is no work for the majority of the workers, the purchasing power is also affected. During such difficult times, an increase in the electricity tariff is like rubbing salt to the wounds. The government should have been considerate to reduce the tariff during these challenging times.
The tariff fixing method as per the regulations may be appropriate during normal business times. However, during the pandemic and the high increase in all costs, an increase in power tariff would hit a severe blow to the MSMEs, he added.
The tariff regulation permits a Return of Equity of nearly 20 per cent. When the MSMEs are collapsing, it would be illogical to charge 20 per cent on return on equity. The government should have suitably modified the electricity tariff regulations to be suitable during the pandemic times.