Traders & small industry players stage protests in Karnataka over power tariff hike

PTI, Jun 22, 2023, 12:56 PM IST

Traders and small industry owners took out protest rallies in several parts of Karnataka on Thursday opposing the recent power tariff hike.

Following a call for a ‘bandh’ given by Hubballi-based Karnatak Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI), industrialists and small traders participated in a protest march in big numbers. Their protests came at a time when the state government started the registration process earlier this week for the ‘Gruha Jyoti’ scheme offering up to 200 units of free electricity for residential connections.

Holding banners, posters and placards, the traders and industrialists marched in the district headquarters in Hubballi-Dharwad, Shivamogga, Belagavi, Ballari, Vijayanagar, Davangere and Koppal, among others.

They shouted slogans demanding that the government roll back the hike. In Belagavi, a large number of traders and small and micro industry owners marched up to the office of the Deputy Commissioner with banners and placards.

KCCI acting President Sandeep Bidasaria claimed that the hike in power tariff has gone up between 50 and 70 per cent, which has deeply impacted the small businesses. A protester in Belagavi, a city bordering Maharashtra, alleged many industries were planning to move out to the neighbouring state due to the drastic increase in tariff. Many shops were shut and production was stopped in small industries in several parts of the state in response to the bandh call.

In the district headquarters town of Bidar, many shops were shut and the main market wore a deserted look following the Bandh.

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