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Bescom's new tariff order on deposits puts SSIs in a spot

Our Bureau

SSI units, which were reeling under heavy payment burden and losses due to huge arrears from their customers including prominent business groups, said that the fresh demand from Bescom has come as a serious setback.

BANGALORE, Nov. 27

MEMBERS of the Karnataka Small-Scale Industries Association (KASSIA) have urged the Government to defer the demand for payment of three-monthly minimum deposit as per the new tariff order implemented by the Bangalore Electric Supply Company (Bescom). The demand notices, at a time when the SSI was passing through crisis period, would spell a deathblow, it said.

In an appeal made to the MLAs attending an interaction session organised by KASSIA here, small-scale industries owners asked the legislators to take up the issue with the Government and find a solution for the problem.

SSI units, which were reeling under heavy payment burden and losses due to huge arrears from their customers including prominent business groups, said that even as the sector was recovering from the impact of the economic reforms and other problems, the fresh demand from Bescom has come as a serious setback.

In his opening remarks, Mr N. Jayakumar, President of KASSIA, underlined the problems faced by the SSI units and said though the sector was able to withstand the shock many units were able to adapt themselves to the changing requirements.

He also sought the help of Opposition MLAs to take up their cause with the Government. He said despite repeated pleas by KASSIA and assurances from the Government, the infrastructure facilities in several industrial areas in and around Bangalore remained inadequate and in a state of neglect.

Responding to the pleas made by the members, Mr Katta Subramanya Naidu, MLA, said the Government should take the blame for the sorry state of affairs in the industrial estates and said it should urgently attend to the problem of regular supply of power at reasonable costs. He suggested that the Government should immediately embark on setting up power units on a BOOT basis (build own and operate and transfer) to mitigate the small-scale industrialists problems.

Other legislators, Mr P. Suresh Kumar, Mr R. Ashok, Mr P.C. Mohan, also gave their assurance in dealing with issues such as long-pending arrears of subsidy to the tune of Rs 350 crore and dues from big industrial units.

They also suggested that the Government should direct the Karnataka State Financial Corporation (KSFC) to adjust the loans extended to the SSI units to the extent of the subsidy due from the Government.

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