Power To Cost More In Punjab
If power cuts and electricity scarcity was not already pinching you, then there is another shock in store for you. The fourth annual budget of the Akali-BJP government presented by finance minister Manpreet Badal on Tuesday burdened residents of Punjab by 3% hike in electricity duty taking it to 13%. With this, government hopes to mop up a revenue of Rs 270 crore per year.
Probably, the state finance minister knew that the hike would come as a rude jolt to the public, so he began by invoking the divine blessings, to gather courage for announcing the duty hike. I do not have any new prescription for Punjab. I have the same old prescription that was once revealed to Guru Gobind Singh, and I quote in original Deh Shiva Var Mohe eh, Shub Karman Te Kabhu Naa Daron.
The budget, which was announced without taking prior sanction of outlay from the Planning Commission, was kept free from any new tax announcements as most of these had already been implemented following the Sukhbir-Kalia committee report. The hike in electricity duty would result in increase of power cost in the state by 12 paise per unit from Rs 4 per unit on an average at present.
The FM proposed to reduce the entertainment duty from 125% to 25% and fully exempt the drama theatres from entertainment duty, while asserting that high duty was discouraging people from tax compliance, hence the reduction.