ELECTRICITY CONSUMERS in Punjab will have to shell out more for electricity consumed by them with the Punjab State Electricity Regulatory Commission (PSERC) approving an average increase of 9.33 per cent in tariff.
The hike will come into effect from November 1 and the consumers will have to pay the arrears from April 2017 onwards. However, these arrears will be recovered over the next nine months, beginning from November 2017.
Addressing a press conference Monday, Kusumjit Sidhu, chairperson of PERC, said there would be an increase of seven per cent to 12 per cent in the monthly bill for domestic consumers while the increase for commercial consumers would be in the range of 8.5 per cent to 10.5 per cent. She added that the small industry would see a hike of 6.42 per cent, medium and large industry up to 8.50 per cent.
“The commission has decided to introduce a two-part tariff structure for all categories except the agriculture sector,” said Sidhu. The two-part structure means a consumer will henceforth have to pay a fixed charge for the electricity consumed along with a variable charge which will depend upon the volume of electricity consumed. These charges vary from Rs 20 per kW to 60 kVA for domestic supply, Rs 50 per kw to 100 kVA for non-domestic supply and Rs 85 kW to 195 kvA for small medium and large supply and general industry.
When asked about the status of the subsidised power supply at the rate of Rs 5 per unit to industrial category announced by the Congress government in Punjab, Sidhu said the same would be dealt with by the state government and the Punjab State Power Corporation Ltd (PSPCL).
Correspondence between the PSERC and the Punjab Government in this regard forms part of the tariff order in which the PSERC has asked the state government to confirm its committment to pay the subsidies including that of power to industry at Rs 5 per unit. the department of power has written back to the PSERC confirming that ‘The state shall provide the neccessary budgetary support to PSPCL for providing power at this subsidised rate to the industry”.
“The tariff has not been increased for the past three years and something had to be done soon,” the chairperson of PSERC said..
The consolidated gap (deficit) of PSPCL was worked out at Rs 2,522.62 crore against power utility’s proposal of Rs 11,575.53 crore. “To cover this revenue gap for financial year 2017-18, an overall increase of 9.33 per cent is required over the existing tariff,” said the chairperson while announcing the Multi-Year Tariff (MYT) for the year 2017-18 to 2019-20.
The PSERC order has also abolished the surcharge of 10 paise for continuous process industry while the Time of Day (ToD) rebate at night has been increased from Rs 1 per kVAh to Rs 1.25 per kVAh.
Consumers availing supply at higher voltages shall continue to get power at discounted rates..