The Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC) Chairman V.P. Raja told Chief Minister Ashok Chavan on Wednesday that the decisions the commission took in recent times were logical as per the electricity reforms.
Chavan had invited Raja to Mantralaya for a meeting of the Cabinet sub-committee on power. The committee sought Raja’s views on tariff structures and suggestions to boost the state’s resolve to become power surplus by 2012. Currently, the state enforces power cuts ranging between two and ten hours to mitigate the demand and supply gap.
Raja told Hindustan Times that he had fruitful talks with Chavan. “The chief minister is very keen on meeting the state’s power requirement by two-three years. He wanted to know about power sector reforms and asked for my suggestion for enhancing the sector in the state,” said Raja.
A senior energy department official, requesting anonymity, said that among the decisions was MERC’s refusal for staying hike in the Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company’s (MSEDC) tariff. The state has invoked a special provision in the Electricity Act 2003 to ask MERC for stay.
Raja said he explained to Chavan that the Electricity Act itself was a manifesto of power sector reforms. The act calls for reducing cross-subsidy so that the burden on high-end consumers, who had been paying more for the benefit of other category of consumers, decreases in a phased manner.
Energy Minister Ajit Pawar suggested that the regulator should ensure that common consumers were not affected by undue tariff hike.
The government wanted MERC to give quicker relief to power companies in financial matters so that their economics don’t get affected in long terms. “The companies don’t get the required hike approved and that results in big losses when overall expenditures have increased manifold,” Ajoy Mehta, MSEDC managing director, told the meeting.
Raja said he has advised the state to boost up its generation company’s performance and reduce distribution and transmission losses.