The Punjab State Electricity Regulatory Commission (PSERC) on Wednesday announced an average power tariff hike of 9% for the 2013-14 financial year. In the just-concluded fiscal (2012-13), the average hike was 12%.
Domestic consumers will pay 10-11% more, while industrial users will have to shell out 12-13% more. The lowest increase (1.67%) is for the agriculture sector, where the state bears the entire cost of running tubewells for irrigation.
In the non-residential/commercial sector, which mainly includes shops and offices, the tariff has been hiked by 7-9%.
For the first time in the state, the large-scale industry would get a rebate of Re 1 per unit on normal tariff for running their units during "off peak hours" (10pm to 6am) under the "time off day" tariff category. About 6,000-7,000 large-scale units would get this rebate, thereby reducing the load and power cuts, PSERC chairperson Romila Dubey said while announcing the tariff order at a press conference here.
Besides an estimated subsidy of Rs. 4,778.13 crore dedicated to the agriculture sector, the state government also bears subsidy for up to 200 units per month of domestic consumption for Scheduled Castes (SC) and non-SC BPL (below poverty line) category, amounting to Rs. 829.29 crore.
Dubey claimed that the transmission and distribution (T&D) losses had dropped from 18% to 17% in two years.
Power projects to be functional by March 2014
The PSERC order highlighted that the three upcoming thermal plants at Rajpura, Talwandi Sabo and Goindwal Sahib were scheduled to be commissioned within this financial year (2013-14), as assured by the Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL).
The first 270MW unit of the 540MW Goindwal Sahib plant would be commissioned in May, while the second would come up in November. All three units (660MW each) of the Talwandi Sabo project would be commissioned by March 2014. The first 700MW unit of the 1,400MW Rajpura plant is scheduled to be commissioned on January 17, 2014.
Average cost of power for 2013-14 in Punjab has been assessed at per unit, up from Rs. 5.38 during 2012-13
Rs 1,782 crore
Cash-strapped PSPCL's consolidated revenue gap for 2013-14, as determined by Punjab State Electricity Regulatory Commission (PSERC)
Rs 4,778 crore
power subsidy for agriculture sector
Rs 23,590 crore
Annual revenue requirement projected by PSPCL; PSERC has determined it at Rs. 21,592 crore