Indians protest at power price increases

11 August 2000

Increased power tariffs as part of World Bank plans to privatize the power sector in Andhra Pradesh, India have sparked protests. Under contract with the World Bank, the state government has to increase the power rates every year for five years. This year’s increases are highest for lower consumption sectors, up to 300 percent for people on low incomes.

Protesters are also concerned that the industry’s assets are being undervalued and will bring windfall gains to the private owners. Moreover, the book value does not reflect environmental and resettlement costs such as compensation for victims of dam construction. A People’s Monitoring Group on Power Reforms in Andhra Pradesh has been established.