In an unusual move that has pitted the state government and the power regulator against each other, the former has directed the latter to declare the new electricity tariff within five days.
“Under section 108 of the Electricity Act, the UP government has directed the UP Electricity Regulatory Commission (UPERC) to issue the tariff order in five days’ time. The power sector is not getting funds due to lack of the tariff order,” principal secretary, Anil Kumar Gupta said in a statement, here on Wednesday.
Though no one from the UPERC was ready to comment, a senior officer on condition of anonymity said tariff determination was exclusively in the regulator’s domain under Section 61-62 of the Electricity Act, 2003 and the government could not issue any direction to it.
“Under Section 108, the government can give directions in matters related to policies affecting public interest but it can issue no such directions related to the tariff,” he claimed.
“Moreover, the Act provides the commission 120 days’ time to decide on the tariff and the countdown begins from the day regulator admits the licencee’s prayer for tariff revision. Going by that also, we still have two weeks or so,” he added.
He said the commission was anyway ready with the tariff order. He also said the commission had not yet received any such directions from the government.
UP Rajya Vidyut Upbhokta Parishad president and world energy council member, Avadhesh Kumar Verma said the government’s move was a disrespect to and violation of the Electricity Act.
“The move seems to be politically motivated and I will challenge it before the appropriate forum,” he said.