Defending her government’s decision to suspend announcement of new power tariff, Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit said she wanted Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC) to weigh its impact on power reforms in the Capital.
The new tariffs were to be announced a month back.
Talking to reporters for the first time after the controversy, Dikshit said she had no problem if the power regulator recommended any cut in tariff.
She, however, added that the DERC was yet to send the statutory advice on the distribution companies’ claims that her government had sought.
Dikshit had forced the DERC to suspend declaring new tariff on May 4, a day before it was scheduled to be announced, in which the regulatory body was likely to announce a cut in power tariff.
Dikshit had instead asked the DERC to assess the demand by power companies to increase tariff in view of financial crunch they were facing.
“Which government would not want to give electricity to people at cheaper rates? We are also giving subsidy of Rs 40-50 crore on power,” she said.
Dikshit said her government has asked the DERC to take everything into consideration and if the tariff can be cut without affecting power supply in future the power regulator can recommend tariff cut.
“Power is getting costlier. While coal and water based electricity is still cheaper, gas based is costly... power trading is also on. A new system has come into force. We do not want the system to go imbalanced,” Dikshit said.
Even the Solicitor General had suggested that Delhi government’s intervention violated the Indian Electricity Act, 2003, a parliamentary law that regulates the country’s power sector, when the DERC had sought his opinion on the matter.