Under fire from the state-owned utilities and the government for passing erroneous orders that impacted power bills, the Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC) has decided to refer its directive to the Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Ahmedabad, for study and research.
The tariff determination orders and appellate directives, issued between 2006 and 2011, in respect of the Maharashtra State Power Generating Company Ltd (Mahagenco) and Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Ltd (Mahavitaran) will be forwarded to the IIM-A for recommendations.
In May this year, Mahagenco had accused the commission of passing tariff orders and other directives that made the Comptroller and Audit General to pass adverse remarks on its business model.
The utility blamed the commission’s accounting errors for widening the gap between its expenditure and profit, which did not reflect in the company accounts. Similar miscalculations, which were corrected later, had impacted the bills of Mahavitaran.
Deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar, head of the energy department, had criticised the commission and its chairman VP Raja in the state legislature early this year for biased treatment of government utilities, and threatened to discipline the commission.
MERC said in a statement that the IIM’s commendations would be useful to ‘improve the regulatory process and the outcomes.’
Consumer activists have been demanding that better professionals be hired to better the MERC's performance. On Tuesday, the commission sought applications from experts to work as the managing director and executive directors (in related fields) for help on professional fronts.