• Odisha to revise power duty for commercial users

    The Odisha cabinet on Monday decided to amend the Odisha Electricity (Duty) Act, 1961, through an Ordinance, revising electricity duty for commercial users.

    Emphasising that the hike in rates will not affect domestic users, chief secretary A P Padhi said the amendment of the Odisha Electricity (Duty) Act will help the government generate Rs 90 crore of additional revenue annually.

    As per the ordinance, the government has decided to enhance the upper limit of electricity duty to Rs 2 per unit in case of captive power plants and independent power producers and to a maximum of 15 per cent on ad valorem basis (value of the power and not quantity used) in other cases.

    At present, the state government levies duty at the rate of 2% for irrigation, 4% for domestic use and 5% for small scale industry. However, irrespective of the categories of consumers, the duty is subject to an upper ceiling of 40 paise a unit.

    Justifying the decision to bring in an ordinance, Padhi said by the time the assembly would have reconvened, the state government would have lost out on revenue and hence it was decided to amend the act.

    Though four months of the current fiscal have already passed, the Ordinance would still help the state garner Rs 60 crore out of the Rs 90 crore that had been initially projected, Padhi added. Notifying the Ordinance, a government statement said that considering the inflation and regular growth in energy charges by distribution companies and the need for infrastructure development in power sector, the revision was necessary.

    The cabinet also gave its nod to an ordinance to amend the Odisha Gram Panchayat Act, 1964, and enable the rotation of reservation of offices of the sarpanch after every term of election.

    As per the existing provision, the reservation is rotated after every two terms of election. Since the process for panchayat election has already started, an ordinance was necessary, the chief secretary said. Deatrich Wise Jr Womens Jersey

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