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HindustanTimes Sat,23 Aug 2014

Power department to pay interest on security deposit

Vinod Kumar , Hindustan Times  Chandigarh, April 14, 2014
First Published: 09:14 IST(14/4/2014) | Last Updated: 09:15 IST(14/4/2014)

 In a relief to the consumers, the UT electricity department has decided to pay 8.75% interest on security deposit collected from the consumers.

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The amount will be credited to electricity bills in May and June, every year, of the consumers whose connections were released after May, 1979. There are nearly 2 lakh consumers falling under different categories, of which 1.75 lakh are in domestic category.

The decision was taken after repeated directions from the Joint Electricity Regulatory Commission (JERC).
Depending on the connection, consumers have to deposit security between Rs. 1,000 and Rs. 10,000 while applying for the meter.

According to the petition filed before the commission, the department will now pay Rs. 5.35 crore as interest to consumers this financial year.

As per clause 47(4) of the Electricity Act, 2003 and as specified in regulation 25 of JERC Tariff Regulations 2009, the distribution licencees has to pay interest on security deposit collected from the consumers, equivalent to the bank rate or more as may be specified by the commission.

The commission in its latest tariff order issued on April 11, has directed the department to pay the interest on consumer security deposit for 2014- 15 with effect from April 1, 2014. The order adds that this has to be paid irrespective of the department’s constraints and should explicitly mention the same as the ‘Interest on security deposit for financial year 201415’ on bills. The commission has also warned that the noncompliance of the order would be taken seriously.

The commission has also pulled up the electricity department for not maintaining proper data in respect of sales, revenue and revenue expenses as also the category wise/ slab wise number of consumers, connected load/demand etc for proper analysis of the past data based on actual and estimate of proper projections for consideration in the aggregate revenue requirement (ARR) and tariff petition.

The department has been directed to take steps to build credible, accurate and verifiable data base and management information system (MIS) to meet the requirements for filing ARR and tariff petition as per regulatory requirement of the commission. The department has also been asked to get a study conducted on the computerised data base, and should give a proposal as to how the de partment proposes to achieve this and submit an action plan with target dates.

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