The 28 lakh suburban power consumers, who get their supply from Reliance Infrastructure (RInfra), are unlikely to have to pay more for electricity as the state Cabinet on Wednesday agreed in principle to once again stall its plan to hike tariff by 7%.
The state government has the power to invoke section 108 of the Electricity Act, 2003, to stay a tariff revision. The Congress government had used it last year too to stall a RInfra tariff hike.
On Wednesday, the Cabinet met after completing the day’s agenda, prompted by protests from the ruling Congress and Opposition parties. While the Congress and Shiv Sena activists had protested at RInfra’s office on Tuesday, the BJP had led an agitation on Wednesday.
However, before asking the Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC) to endorse the stay order, the state government has decided to ask for its view on the similar state directive issued last year.
“The Cabinet has agreed in principle to stay the hike. But as the 2009 directive had to be vacated last month in view of the MERC’s clean chit to RInfra, the government wants to be legally perfect this time,” a senior official who attended the meeting said, on condition of anonymity.
The state will also ask the MERC for its views on how to implement uniform power tariff in the city. RInfra charges the highest rate for power in the city, while Tata consumers pay the lowest. The BEST and Mahavitaran buyers pay a little more than Tata.