Congress MP Sanjay Nirupam today said a protest would be launched outside Reliance Energy's office in suburban Kandivli on January 13 if the company did not lower the power tariff in the metropolis.
"The fixed charge has been introduced in the last one or two years. This charge will have to be withdrawn. Secondly, in the name of regulatory assets, for Reliance to maintain infrastructure in Mumbai, Rs 522 and Rs 600 are being charged to consumers whose consumption is below 500 units.... This collection in the name of assets will have to stop," he said.
"If they take this decision, we will rethink about the morcha on January 13, or else the morcha will proceed to Reliance office," Nirupam told reporters here.
"Not all the burden can be imposed on the government (by the company)," he said. "The private companies, who took up this business, will also have to bear some load." He said the state government has taken a decision to provide relief to the domestic power consumers in Mumbai in the coming one or two weeks.
"Now, (for) this decision, the state government can decide either cut the 15 per cent tax it collects on the sale of electricity or give subsidy," Nirupam said.
"If it reduces tax, there will be revenue loss. If it gives subsidy, the state government's expenditure will increase. But in the end, the state government has to bear one of these burdens to provide relief to people of Mumbai and the state.
"I am thankful to the Chief Minister that he gave attention to this problem and spoke of taking a positive decision. We will have to wait for a week or two," the MP said.
Against the backdrop of Aam Aadmi Party government's move to slash electricity tariff by half in Delhi, Nirupam recently demanded similar decision for Mumbai residents.
In a letter to Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan, the North Mumbai MP threatened to launch a "massive agitation" if the power tariff for those consuming less than 500 units per month is not reduced.