Industrialists and other consumers strongly objected to the proposed tariff hike by MP Power Management Company Ltd (MPPMCL) at the Madhya Pradesh Electricity Regulatory Commission (MPERC) public hearing on Tuesday.
The hearing was held to listen to the objections, claims and suggestions of different categories of power consumers before the approval of the aggregate revenue requirement (ARR) and electricity tariff for 2015-16.
The MPPMCL and the discoms have proposed an average tariff hike of 22.86% for domestic category and 12.93% to 39.74% for the industrial category.
Pithampur Audyogik Sangathan president Gautam Kothari said that the average cost of supply has been pegged at `5.73 per unit, which is unfair as different categories such as domestic, industry and agriculture cannot be clubbed together.
"For instance, the transmission loss in SEZ is about 3% while it is 16% in case of domestic category. So how can a generalised average cost be applied across the board?," he said.
He further added that the annual revenue requirement has been prepared without a reasonable base and excessive consumption has been estimated for the domestic and agriculture consumers.
"The MPERC allows 20% cross subsidy to this privileged sector every year and any unusual increase in this category will increase the cost of supply in the tariff calculations. Moreover, 90% of agricultural connections are unmetered. The normal annual growth in these two sectors may not be more than 8% to 10%. Consumers in these two sectors consume almost 50% of power supply and hence a wide gap has been created through this jugglery," Kothari said.
The official representing the Indore Municipal Corporation (IMC) said that the proposed hike will put an additional burden of Rs 5 crore per month on the corporation.
Social activist Kishore Kodwani has already moved a PIL in the Indore bench of the High Court for alleged irregularities in the income and expenditure statements of Madhya Pradesh Western Zone Power Distribution Company Ltd.
Last week, the High Court had issued a show cause notice to the company in this regard.
Kodwani has challenged the patchy financial records of the power distribution company and the logic behind the recently proposed 27% hike in electricity tariff.