While most domestic customers of Reliance Energy and Tata Power will see higher bills from this month, industrial customers of the Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company, or Mahavitaran, will see their rates slashed by up to 16%.
Revised tariffs for Mahavitaran will lead to an average bill reduction of 7% to 10% for various sub-categories of industries, including power looms and cold storages.
In its order to revise tariffs on Saturday, the Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC) said the new rates will apply retrospectively from June 1.
These tariff cuts, the government hopes, will help boost the state’s industrial growth. One of the major hurdles in the government’s ‘Make in Maharashtra’ endeavor has been constant comparisons with neighbouring states, including Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Madhya Pradesh, all of which had lower tariffs for industrial power users. This reduction now brings Maharashtra on par with them.
In its note, MERC said a significant increase available power and a projected revenue surplus prompted the decision.
The commission has slightly increased tariffs for agricultural consumers across the state. This marginal increase (Rs. 0.06 per unit) is meant to encourage un-metered users to make the switch to metered connections.
MERC has also reduced electricity tariff for Railways by 10%, expressing hope that this will encourage the expansion and electrification of rail routes and strengthen transportation infrastructure.
Pratap Hogade of Maharashtra Veej Grahak Sangathana welcomed the move, terming it long overdue. “The state has had the highest industrial tariffs for too long. Also, the cuts in industrial tariffs have not greatly affected domestic tariffs, which is good,” he said.