Karnataka bandh: The Federation of Karnataka Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FKCCI) has announced a statewide strike today (June 22) to protest against the price hike in electricity charges. All trade and industry bodies have been asked to close their establishment in the Karnataka bandh call on Thursday expecting to bring some disruption in normal life.
The CPM has extended support to Karnataka Bandh today.
Essential services not to be affected:
KCCI president Vinay Javali said the bandh call is only for business establishments and is a voluntary one. The essential services will not be disturbed and the movement of vehicles is not likely to be affected. Business establishments will incur losses owing to a day-long bandh, but Javali said industries may not survive with such an unprecedented increase in power tariff.
"We request all the Trade and Industry to close their establishment on 22 June. This is in protest of abnormal price hike in the Electricity charges by ESCOM's. For the last eight days, we have made attempts to convey the seriousness of the impact of the hike in electricity charges. However, no solution is forthcoming from the Officials or government representatives," the Karnataka Chambers of Commerce and Industry said in a statement.
Who all are participating:
District Chambers of Gadag, Bijapur, Rancbennur, Raichur, Talikoti, Vijaynagar, Mysore, Davangere, Koppal, Bagalkoti, Dharwad, Sirsi, Karwar, Bidar, Shivamoga, Kolar, Mandya, Chickmangalore, Yadgir, Chitradurga, KalyanKamataka, Haveri, Hassan, Bellary and other industry associations will join the bandh. Karnataka Chambers of Commerce and Industry has not responded to the bandh call.
What is the issue behind bandh:
Karnataka Electricity Regulatory Commission in its tariff order on May 12 approved a steep increase in the fixed and per unit charges a hike of 70 paise per unit. The issue has led to a political row as the BJP accused the new Congress government of increasing the tariff to fulfil their poll promise of free electricity of up to 200 units under the Gruha Jyoti Scheme.
Some individuals also received an exorbitant bill this month but that was because of some error, the Bescom (Bangalore Electricity Supply Company Limited) said.
Karnataka power minister KJ George said the Gruha Jyoti scheme is for 200 units and anything above and over will have to be paid. "If average power consumption plus 10 per cent is less than 200 units, it will be subsidised. Anything over and above that will have to be paid. Consumers who use more than the allotted units, have to pay for the extra units used. 9 per cent of tax will be included in it," George said.