Power tariff in Orissa is all set to rise from April 1 with the Orissa Electricity Regulatory Commission on Tuesday announcing an across the board hike in electricity tariff and raising the power rate for farmers for the first time in 15 years.
The hike has come less than three weeks after the power sector reforms received a big jolt following cancellation of power distribution licence of Reliance Infrastructure for three zones in Orissa.
In the tariff announced for 2015-16, OERC has raised tariff for domestic category consumers by 20 paise per unit while the same for farmers was raised by 40 paise per unit. “The principal reason for tariff hike in 2015-16 is due to the pass through of Rs 740.72 crore towards past power purchase dues of NTPC by GRIDCO as per the CERC order. The hike is also due to the increase in number of electricity consumers, inadequate generation of low cost hydropower to meet growing demands & rise in cost of coal and furnace oil, which ultimately lead to increased generation cost,” said OERC secretary G K Dhal.
However, Monthly Minimum Fixed Charge (MMFC) and Demand Charge which was between Rs 250 to Rs 700 depending on the category of customers, remain unchanged.
In comparison to the 2014-15 fiscal, there has been a hike of 4.64 per cent in the average retail supply tariff, OERC officials said.
There was no tariff rise from 2001-02 to 2009-10. The tariff rise during 2010-11, 2011-12, 2012-13 and 2013-14 were 22.20 per cent, 19.74 per cent, 11.84 per cent and 2.40 per cent, respectively.
There was no tariff rise during 2014-15. A consumer is required to pay an average tariff of Rs. 4.96 for the consumption of 700 units, which is 1.6 per cent higher than the average cost of supply, OERC officials said. As Opposition Congress and BJP criticised the power tariff hike, state energy minister Pranab Prakash Das said an increase by 20 paise on domestic use will hardly hit the consumers.
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