Power regulation a double whammy to traders in Kerala
By Pramod Thomas | ENS - KOCHI
03rd November 2012 09:14 AM
The traders and small-scale industries are groping in the dark to find a suitable solution for the power crisis.
The power tariff hike and the imposition of power cut and load shedding has been a double whammy to the segment. After the introduction of load shedding, both in the morning and in the evening, the trade volume has come down by 25 per cent.
The impact was felt more on the small industries segment since the operating cost increased by 10-15 per cent owing to the power restrictions.
To find a suitable remedy for the problem, the Kerala Vyapari Vyavasayi Ekopana Samiti - the largest trade body in the state, is planning to hold a series of agitations. A detailed plan for the same will be formulated at the state-level executive meeting of the organisation scheduled to be held in Kadampuzha, Malappuram, on November 11.
Samiti state president T Nasarudheen said that the traders in the state are looking ahead at a bleak future owing to the power crisis.
“The trade is down by 25 per cent after the introduction of load shedding. The shops are closing early now. Some shop owners are reluctant to buy generators because of the safety aspect and hence, they are not operating in full-swing now,” he added.
Echoing the same opinion, K P Ramachandran Nair, state president of Kerala State Small Industries Association, said that it is high time for a government intervention to solve the power crisis.
“Earlier subsidies were given to small industry units for buying generators and it was helpful to control the operating cost.
We demand reinstating the subsidy, as without it, the industries will die a sudden death. The operating cost in Kerala is 5-10 per cent higher when compared to other states.
Our firms are competing with the Chinese products available in the market as well. In order to overcome the ensuing crisis, government support is inevitable,” said Ramachandran, who is also the managing director of Kay Pee Steel Products.
Binny Immatty, state president of the Kerala Vyapari Vyavasayi Samiti, pointed out that it will take time to calculate the ‘real impact’ of power cut and load shedding on the traders.
The operating cost has shot up after the regulations were imposed, he added.
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