The Punjab State Electricity Regulatory Commission (PSERC) on Wednesday announced an average increase of 9.06 per cent in power tariff across all categories for the new fiscal starting April 1. The increase has been the highest for the industrial sector ranging between 11.5 to 12.83 per cent while it has been the lowest for farmers at 1.67 per cent.
To meet the revenue gap of Rs 1,782.50 crore for 2013-14,an increase of 9.06 per cent is required across the board. The combined average cost of supply for the year 2013-14 works out to Rs 5.77 per unit whereas it was Rs 5.38 per unit in last years tariff order, said the commission chairperson Romila Dubey while announcing the twelfth tariff order here.
For the first time in Punjab,the commission has introduced a Time of Day (ToD) tariff for large scale industrial consumers as part of which these consumers would be given a rebate of one rupee on normal tariff for consuming power during off-peak hours (between 10 pm and 6 am) from October to March. This has been done on an experimental basis and if it works,we will extend it to the medium industries. This will help reduce power cuts and help in flattening the states load curve, Dubey said.
The regulator also announced hike in peak load hour exemption charges by 50 per cent from Rs 1.70 per unit to Rs 2.80 per unit. The increase has been done after 1998. This is aimed at restricting power demand during peak load hours and avoid grid failures like the one last year, Dubey added.
The regulator has also introduced an additional slab up to 100 units in the non-residential supply category to watch the interest of small shopkeepers. Asked about why meagre increase was made in power tariff for farm sector,Dubey said: As power supply to agriculture sector is erratic. The farmers are not getting supply during day time. They get supply during odd hours. Therefore,there is a provision allowing a differential tariff for this category.
Meanwhile,PPCC President Pratap Singh Bajwa on Wednesday strongly opposed the hike. This is first gift of SAD-BJP government to people after the Goa Chintan Sammelan, he said before adding that the increase will burden the common man who is already reeling under high property tax and VAT.
Commission bails out consumers
The PSERC’s tariff order stated that PSPCL is yet to submit the audited accounts for FYs 2010-11 and 2011-12. After taking into consideration the gap of previous year and carrying cost of gap,the cumulative Revenue Gap was projected at Rs 12053.39 crore which required an increase of 58.59% in the existing Tariff rates of all the consumer categories to cover the proposed gap. However the commission had limited increasing tariff to 9.06 per cent.
Punjab to pay Rs 5000 crore power subsidy
The total amount of government subsidy for free supply to agriculture pump consumers for the year 2013-14 works out to Rs 4778.13 crore. In addition the government has also committed to pay subsidy of Rs 829.29 crore for free supply upto 200 units per month to SC domestic consumers and non-SC BPL domestic consumers with a connected load upto 1000 watts. Total amount of subsidy has been worked as Rs 5607.42 crore.
Please show us our money: Regulator
The regulatoron Wednesday said the government owed it Rs 717.05 crore as unpaid power subsidy which has been pending for 2011-12 and 2012-13 and should pay it immediately. Government of Punjab is advised to make payment of the unpaid subsidy of Rs 304.66 crore for 2011-12 and Rs 412.39 crore for financial year 2012-13 immediately, the new tariff order said.
Less for domestic consumers
Compared to the recently announced tariff order for Haryana,Punjab is charging less from the domestic consumer using less than 100 units of power. The rates in Haryana for such cosumers is Rs 4.75 per unit and in Punjab it is Rs 4.56 per unit. However for consumers using more than 100 units of power the rates in Haryana vary from Rs 4.90 to Rs 5.98 per unit. In Punjab these vary from Rs 6.02 to Rs 6.58 per unit. Non domestic power is also more expensive in Punjab varying from Rs 6.45 to Rs 6.58.