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New tariff order may be out soon

delhi Updated: Aug 05, 2011 01:03 IST
Avishek G Dastidar

Delhi's wait for the announcement of an electricity tariff order entered its last leg on Thursday as the power regulator finished hearing all stakeholders and petitioners on levying of a variable surcharge adjusting the cost of fuel used in power generation.

The Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC) is aiming to bring out the tariff order and the order on the fuel cost adjustment mechanism together in two weeks' time.

"We are now preparing the order to be announced by second or third week of August," said DERC chairman PD Sudhakar.

Residents' welfare associations, which were unhappy with the commission for fixing the date for public hearing at such short notice, said people needed more time and information to ponder over the issue.

"There needs to be more information on how much power the discoms buy and is the variation in fuel cost significant in the long run. Discoms buy power from all sources and at the end of the day the variation in fuel price might get negated or remain marginal," said Anil Sood of NGO Chetna and a member of DERC's state advisory committee.

"The cost of gas and coal might vary sometime but does it mean discoms end up paying more? The DERC needs to see this and also consider the fact whether discoms have the money to afford any marginal variation without disturbing the poor consumer," said Rajiv Kakria of Greater Kailash -I RWA.

But mostly stakeholders digressed from the issue of fuel cost adjustment and brought in issues of tariff.

"Among those who did speak on the specified subject of the hearing, most favoured implementation of this surcharge because as it is discoms do get their variation trued up after a year or two," said Sudhakar.

In the petitions, the three discoms have proposed their own formulas to levy the charge.

While BSES Yamuna has asked a maximum 50 paise per unit surcharge, BSES Rajdhani has sought the surcharge to be 15% of the tariff, while North Delhi Power Limited has recommended that the variable expenditure incurred this quarter be recovered next quarter.