Power firms ask for spike in tariffs | india | Hindustan Times
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Power firms ask for spike in tariffs

india Updated: Dec 23, 2008 01:29 IST
Moushumi Das Gupta

The three private power distribution companies (distcoms) operating in the Capital have sought tariff hikes of up to 78 per cent in the financial year 2009-2010.

If the hikes come through, over 32 lakh domestic power consumers spread across three power slabs will have to cough out between 94 paisa and Rs 2.45 per unit.

The Tatas’ New Delhi Power Limited (NDPL) and the Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group’s BSES Rajdhani Power Limited (BRPL) and BSES Yamuna Power Limited (BYPL), have demanded hikes ranging between 38 per cent and 78 per cent.

The distcoms have cited the huge increase in the purchase price of electricity as one of the reasons behind the demand.

Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, who has the power portfolio, was not available for comment, despite attempts to reach her.

City residents are livid. Pankaj Aggarwal, general secretary of the Delhi RWA Joint Front, said, “The very reliability of data on the basis of which the hike is sought is questionable. (Moreover) these companies have shown a decrease in losses. So, the charges should actually decrease.”

The distcoms have listed the quantum of the hikes sought in their Annual Revenue Requirement (ARR), submitted to regulator Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC) this month.

Simply put, the ARR is the estimate of money that power companies need to run operations throughout the year. The DERC will decide on the tariff revision by the end of March, 2009. “We have accepted the petitions of the distcoms on December 19. We are going through them right now. It would be too early to comment on them,” said DERC secretary A.K. Tewary.

In its ARR petition, the NDPL has sought a hike of 38.5 per cent to cover its total revenue gap of Rs 708 crore. Similarly, BRPL and BYPL have sought hikes between 50 per cent to 78 per cent, to plug their revenue gaps of Rs 1,704 crore and Rs 929 crore respectively.

A senior DERC official said: “We have to go through the petitions before we can predict how much burden will be transferred to the consumer.”