PD Sudhakar, a former special secretary to the ministry of corporate affairs, took over the reigns of Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC) as its chairman at a time when all the stakeholders in Delhi’s power supply scene were locked in a multi-pronged court battle over the issuing of a tariff order. Now, after the dust has settled following the high court’s judgment on the issue, the former IAS officer from the Uttar Pradesh cadre says his first job would be to rebuild DERC’s image of a non-partisan entity. Excerpts from an exclusive interview:
You have taken over in difficult times. Do you think there is an impression that the DERC’s reputation as a non-partisan entity has taken a hit?
It is true that the DERC’s credibility has taken a beating and my biggest task now is to restore that credibility. We have to establish that we are an independent, autonomous body which has the best interest of the consumers in mind. Once that is established, we can discharge our responsibilities in a better way.
How do you plan to do that?
Transparency to all stakeholders is a must to eliminate any atmosphere of mistrust. I want the consumers to have more involvement in the whole process. We have issued staff papers of tariff petitions and we are reaching out to people so they understand these things better.
Discoms have said they are in severe cash crunch and that they need a letter from DERC stating that their so-called regulatory assets would be trued up, so that based on that banks give them loans. Will you issue such a letter?
We could issue a letter which says their true-up petitions are under consideration, that’s all. Saying that will be factually correct. As for the actual true up, that process is still going on.
When can we expect a new power tariff and will Delhiites need to prepare for a shock? Discoms have been claiming outrageous hikes citing huge increase in costs?
We plan to bring out the tariff by August. Petitions are meant to carry demands and expenditure numbers. But that’s not the only component in the tariff setting process. While I can’t say what the tariff will be before the entire processes takes place but we will hear all stakeholders and aim for reliable (power) supply at a reasonable cost.