Power tariff set to rise in Punjab

Power consumers in Punjab will have to cough up more for using energy as regulator Punjab State Electricity Regulatory Commission is set to announce a hike in tariffs on Monday.

Written by Press Trust Of India | Chandigarh | Published: July 13, 2012 3:20 am

Power consumers in Punjab will have to cough up more for using energy as regulator Punjab State Electricity Regulatory Commission (PSERC) is set to announce a hike in tariffs on Monday.

“The new power tariff for the current financial year will be announced on Monday,” official sources told PTI on Thursday. Though authorities refused to divulge any information on the tariff,rates may go up by about 10 per cent,sources said. The new power rates will be effective from April 1.

PSERC has received a communique from the Punjab government,stating that it will foot the entire subsidy burden (free power to farming sector and SC and non-SC BPL families),which is expected to jump from Rs 4,200 crore in 2011-12 to Rs 5,100 crore in current financial year.

“Before announcing new power tariff,the Punjab government has to give a commitment to the power regulator for bearing the entire burden of free power being given to agriculture and other sectors,” a source said.

The delay in announcement of new power tariff could also be attributed to the Dasuya byelection that was held on July 11. Moreover,the state Budget,which was presented last month,also threw light on projected subsidy burden for the state. It was another factor in postponing the announcement of the new rates.

Power utility Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) in its Aggregate Revenue Requirement (ARR) had sought 55 per cent hike in power tariff for covering its projected revenue gap,which stood at Rs 8,983.97 crore for year 2012-13. PSPCL had also proposed to introduce two part tariff in the current fiscal.

All sectors,including industry,had strongly opposed the hike demanded by PSPCL in power tariff,saying that it will prove to be a “big burden” on them amid high rate of inflation.

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