Power consumers in Punjab will have to cough up more on using energy as the regulator Punjab State Electricity Regulatory Commission (PSERC) is set to announce hike in tariffs for 2012-13 on July 16.
"The new power tariff for the current financial year will be announced on Monday," official sources told PTI on Thursday.
Though authorities refused to divulge any information on power tariff, power rates may go up by about 10%, sources said.
The new power rates would be effective from April 1, 2012, they said.
PSERC has received a communique from the Punjab government, stating that it would foot the entire subsidy burden (free power to farming sector and SC and non-SC BPL families) which is expected to jump from Rs 4,200 crore in 2011-12 to Rs 5,100 crore in current financial year.
"Before announcing new power tariff, Punjab government has to give commitment to the power regulator for bearing the entire burden of free power given to agriculture and other sectors," sources said.
The delay in announcement of new power tariff could also be attributed to the Dasuya by-election which was held on July 11. Moreover, the state budget was also presented in the state assembly last month which throws light on projected subsidy burden for the state. It was another factor in the postponement of announcement of new power rates.
Power utility Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) in its Aggregate Revenue Requirement (ARR) had sought 55% hike in power tariff for covering its projected revenue gap which stood at Rs 8,983.97 crore for 2012-13.
PSPCL had also proposed to introduce two part tariff in current fiscal.
All sectors, including industry, had strongly opposed the hike demanded by PSPCL in power tariff, saying that it would prove to be a "big burden" on them amid high rate of inflation.
Northern Railway had also opposed power utility's proposal of raising energy tariff, saying that it would have a cascading effect on passenger fares and commodity prices being hauled if tariff is hiked.