Ten days after the Delhi high court insulated DERC from any political pressure by asking the state government to stay away from tariff-fixation policy, the government said its interference was limited only to requesting adherence to the national policy.
The state government has made it clear that it did not give any direction on increasing or decreasing the tariffs.
“We only asked, can you (DERC) consider the national tariff policy,” Delhi government’s counsel Najmi Waziri told chief justice Dipak Misra. On February 18, the court had quashed Delhi government’s directive to the DERC, which had asked it to seek its approval before issuing fresh power tariff for the Capital, calling it “illegal” and “unwarranted”.
On a hint that the DERC was set to reduce the present tariffs, Waziri told the court that there were reasons to believe the DERC was not adhering to the national tariff policy as per which “uncontrollable costs” like the price at which power is bought at peak season from other states.
“It can have serious consequences on the supply and distribution in Delhi,” said the government.
The government’s affidavit in court said there was a limit to government subsidies. Under the policy, “Uncontrollable costs should be recovered speedily to ensure that future consumers are not burdened with past costs.”
The costs include those incurred on fuel as well as on account of inflation, taxes and cess, along with import costs due to adverse natural events.
The court was hearing a PIL accusing the government of succumbing to pressure from power discoms and “prohibiting the release of new tariff approved on April 2, 2010 by DERC” which it claimed would have been lesser than the present rate.