The Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC) on Friday announced a five per cent hike in power tariff for consumers effective August 1.
With state elections due,the Congress government was quick to point out that it had no control over the regulators authority. It announced additional sops for consumers by means of fresh subsidy and enhancing the existing subsidy.
While the government said its dual bonanza would benefit 84 per cent domestic consumers,opposition BJP threatened an agitation if the government did not announce immediate roll back of the tariff hike.
Announcing a five per cent hike in power tariff,the regulator also waived fuel surcharge,which would translate into a marginal hike for domestic consumers,except those in NDMC areas.
Electricity rates in the NDMC areas will go up by four per cent,while the increase will be .5 per cent for Reliances BSES consumers and two per cent for those getting power from Tatas TPDDL,DERC chairman P D Sudhakar said.
The Commission has taken a conservative view while approving tariff increase of about 5 per cent. Since the prevailing tariff include a PPAC (power purchase adjustment cost) surcharge varying from 3 per cent to 4.5 per cent,there is no significant increase in charges during the financial year 2013-14 and the energy bills of consumers are expected to change marginally or remain almost the same as being charged at present, the DERC tariff order stated.
Sudhakar hinted that the tariff may go up again in October when the regulator would impose the PPAC. The DERC reviews the power purchase adjustment cost every three months.
While the Regulator has justified the increase in tariff based on the increase in power purchase cost,it has also introduced a new slab of 400 to 800 units and above 800 units for domestic consumers to ensure that the burden of expensive power does not fall on the smaller consumers.
According to the new tariff,domestic power consumers will have to pay
Rs 3.90 per unit for the first 200 units,instead of the earlier Rs 3.70 per unit. But the government neutralised this increase by announcing a subsidy of 20 paise in this category,effectively maintaining the tariff at Rs 3.70.
In the category of consumption between 201 and 400 units,the new tariff will be Rs.5.80 per unit,as against the existing Rs 5.50 per unit. But the government introduced a subsidy of 80 paisa per unit,effectively lowering the existing tariff to Rs 5 per unit.
As per the new tariff order,those who were paying
Rs 6.50 per unit for consuming power between 401 and 800 units will now have to pay
Rs 6.80 per unit. Any consumption above 800 units will cost Rs 7 per unit.
A statement issued by Chief Minister Sheila Dikshits office said,Our government has always been taking suitable steps to mitigate the effect of hike in power rates. The above two categories were given this subsidy to take care of the poorest section in the initial slab and also to give relief to the middle class,besides encouraging… consumers to conserve energy. The government would release Rs 550 crore to meet the fresh and enhanced subsidy.