The coming summer is going to be a cruel one for about 10 lakh power consumers of West Bengal as power tariff in the state is set to jump by close to 50 paise per unit shortly.
"The hike in coal price by Coal India Ltd will hurt the generating companies significantly resulting in an increase in tariff which is being worked out by the companies," state power secretary M K De told PTI.
According to official sources the additional impact is likely to be close to 50 paise per unit. This means the average tariff will increase to Rs 5.20 per unit from Rs 4.73 per unit for CESC and Rs 4.72 for WBSEDCL.
"The coal price impact on us is estimated at Rs 300 crore annually. However, the company will file a petition with the state Regulatory Commission for an interim hike to offset the impact on its bottomline," a top CESC official said.
The coal price hike impact on West Bengal Power Development Company Ltd (WBPDCL), the major power supplier to the state utility is estimated at Rs 700-800 crore. WBPDCL and WBSEDCL too will submit a petition with state electricity Regulatory Commission for interim increase in the power tariff.
The election code of conduct will not come in the way of increase in power tariff as West Bengal Electricity Regulatory Commission is a quasi-judicial body and does not require state government's nod to fix power tariff. CIL had said power sector was pared from the hike but the sector was not left out. It had almost doubled prices for grade A and B of the mineral and that under special agreement, besides coal under Fuel Supply agreement by 40 per cent.