Punjab power minister flags water cess on electricity by producing states

Punjab power minister flags water cess on electricity by producing states

New Delhi, Nov 7 (PTI) Raising the issue of imposition of water cess on electricity by some states despite it being declared illegal by the central government, Punjab Power Minister Harbhajan Singh on Tuesday said that states like Punjab are being forced to purchase electricity at higher rates due to imposition of this 'irrational cess'.

Speaking on the concluding day of the two-day Conference of Power and New and Renewable Energy Ministers here, the minister said though the Union Power Ministry had conveyed to states several times that imposition of water cess was illegal, some states like Himachal Pradesh, Uttrakhand, Sikkim, and Jammu & Kashmir were levying it leaving Punjab with no other option but to pay higher rates on purchase of electricity from such states, a statement said.

He sought strict action from the Union Government against such illegal practices of these states so that the Purchasing states would get relief from overpriced rates.

The Punjab government said Power and Renewable Energy Minister R K Singh supported the Punjab minister on the issue and stated that the Ministry has already made it very clear that this imposition is 'totally unconstitutional' and will make sure to stop this practice.

He further said that the Union Power Ministry will also support the purchasing states in the course of law against this imposition of water cess.

The Punjab Power Minister thanked the Union Power Minister for giving his support on this issue. He also suggested to construct small balancing reservoirs downstream of major dams in India to provide water for irrigation as well as generating power in full capacity, according to the statement. PTI SKC SKC MR

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