Here’s another blow to Delhiites already grappling with power cuts in the middle of a scorching summer: electricity may soon cost more.
A new tariff order for Delhi’s power sector is expected soon. And things don’t look good for the common man. With elections over, sources said Delhi government was looking to roll back an existing subsidy on the rate of power. Without this subsidy, power would cost 10 per cent more per unit.
“The subsidy’s tenure is expiring in May,” said a senior power department official who did not wish to be named citing protocol issues. “There is hardly a possibility of extending it.”
No government official was willing to come on record on this and, officially, the power department distanced itself from such news.
Sources said an existing subsidy of Re 1 per unit for those who consume power within 200 units during summer and 150 units during winter, will stay.
“So, the average domestic user will still be under a subsidy net,” he said.
Moreover, the private power distributing companies (distcoms) have made a case before the Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission, the Capital’s power-sector regulator, for at least a 78 per cent increase in their annual revenue requirement (sort of a balance sheet showing expenses incurred on capital, which need to be recovered), translating into a hike in tariff.
“The input cost for power has increased in six years. But tariffs have remained almost the same. This has to change,” said a senior official with the BSES, the distcom supplying power to East, South and West Delhi.
The discoms have said that since 2002, when power distribution was privatised, the rate of power has increased only by 2.5 per cent, while the cost of procuring power has increased by 16 per cent.