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HindustanTimes Wed,27 Aug 2014

Power consumers likely to pay for AAP's goodbye

Neelam Pandey , Hindustan Times  New Delhi, February 19, 2014
First Published: 09:24 IST(19/2/2014) | Last Updated: 09:26 IST(19/2/2014)

The Aam Aadmi Party’s (AAP) decision to quit the government is likely to hit power consumers the most.

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The AAP government had decided to provide a 50 per cent subsidy to those consuming up to 400 units. But after its exit, there is no clarity on whether the subsidy will continue after March or not.

In the appropriation bill that was cleared in the Delhi Assembly, the government had sought permission for the power subsidy that will last till March.

Meanwhile, t he Delhi Electricity Regulatory Authority (DERC) has begun the process of determining power tariff for the next financial year.
It has already decided to issue a public notice, inviting comments, suggestions and objections from domestic consumers. It will soon hold a public hearing on determining domestic power tariff.

Sources said the power regulator is likely to announce the new power tariff structure by April-end or May. And with no government in place, the move is not likely to face any resistance.

Whenever power tariff is announced, the Delhi government tries to undermine its effect by announcing a subsidy. “With no government at power, the issue will not be on the agenda. The Lieutenant Governor will take a call on announcing a subsidy,” said a source in the government.

Though power distribution companies have not demanded a very steep annual hike, they have been asking the power regulator to ensure that they get the quarterly surcharge regularly.

On January 31, power tariff was hiked by nearly 8 per cent. Another hike will only make life more difficult for Delhiites.

In its manifesto, AAP had promised to bring down power rates by 50 per cent. But when it came to power, the subsidy provided relief to only to those who consume up to 400 units.


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