A new quarrel has sprung up between the capital’s DERC and Delhi government with the power regulator telling the government that as the 49 per cent stake holder in the discoms, the state is “expected to be familiar” with their affairs. It has also said that the government is “free” to challenge the regulator’s previous tariff orders in appellate tribunal.
The DERC move comes after the state government wrote to the regulator questioning the basis for tariff revisions between 2011 and 2014 that resulted in “steep hikes”.
“The government expected and assumed to be familiar with the affairs of discom companies…Detailed orders of DERC from 2009 onwards are all available on the DERC website and contain all the reasons and reasoning behind those orders. DERC will not be in a position to explain these in any further detail than already done,” the DERC has said in its letter to the government.
In his brief reaction, Power Minister Satyendra Jain said he “would not like to comment on the matter as I know this will be taken up in the next Assembly session”. The Assembly has summoned the DERC chief P D Sudhakar during the next session.
Reiterating that it is a “quasi-judicial autonomous” institution, DERC had said that it would not be “fair” to respond to the government’s specific allegations on the tariff, as these have “financial implications” for the all “concerned” stakeholders.
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In its response, the commission has said that is “well aware of its responsibility”, especially on the aspect of protecting the “interests of consumers”, as it is mandated by law. It said that just like consumers, the government is also free to challenge the tariff “before the the Supreme Court”, as stated under the Electricity Act, 2003.