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Kesoram seeks exemption from electricity duty

Our Bureau

Hyderabad , Aug.1

KESORAM Cement has appealed to the Andhra Pradesh Government to exempt it from the levy of electricity duty on generation of power from its captive power plant, as it had become a "major burden" for the power-intensive industry.

The AP Government issued an ordinance on July 16imposing a duty of 25 paise per unit of power generated by captive power plants.

According to Mr S.V. Tapadia, Jt President (Fin & Admn) of Kesoram Cement, the company had set up a 15-MW captive power plant in 1997 by investing huge amounts to become self sufficient in power. At that time the State was facing acute power shortage and the Government had promised all facilities and concessions for setting up captive power plants.

In a press release here on Friday, Mr Tapadia said that Kesoram's captive power unit was totally independent and not taking any help from AP grid for wheeling or parallel generation. Hence, levy of duty was unjustified, especially when the company was incurring losses.

The impact of the duty on the company amounted to Rs 25 lakh per month and Rs 3 crore per annum. If the company was not exempted from levy of electricity duty, the "management will have no other option than to close down the plant".

The President of Kesoram Cement Employees Union, Mr. Jeevan Reddy, had also submitted a memorandum to the State Labour Minister seeking exemption of the cement plant from levy of electricity duty.

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