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HindustanTimes Mon,15 Sep 2014

Power rates to go up in Punjab

PTI   Chandigarh, August 20, 2014
First Published: 19:10 IST(20/8/2014) | Last Updated: 19:13 IST(20/8/2014)

Power tariff is set to go up in Punjab as power regulator PSERC will announce its new tariff order for 2014-15 on August 22, even as the state industry demanded no hike in power tariff, saying any raise in energy rates will render it uncompetitive and block new investments.

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Though Punjab State Electricity Regulatory Commission (PSERC) refused to divulge quantum of hike in power tariff, official sources said the rates may go up by 7 to 10 per cent.

"The power tariff order for 2014-15 will be announced on August 22," said an official of PSERC here today, adding that the view of all the stakeholders including industry while determining the new tariff has already been taken.

The new rates will be effective with retrospective from April 2014.

State owned power utility Punjab State Power Corporation Ltd (PSPCL) had projected revenue gap of Rs. 2,595.30 crore for 2014-15 in its Aggregate Revenue Requirement (ARR) petition filed with power regulator.

The announcement of new power tariff for 2014-15 was delayed because of imposition of model code of conduct in view of Lok Sabha elections this year. In normal course, the new power tariff is announced in the month of April.

In view of the by-polls in Talwandi Sabo and Patiala, the power regulator PSERC had also sought permission from the Election Commission to announce the new power tariff.

By-polls to Talwandi Sabo and Patiala assembly constituencies will be held tomorrow.

The PSERC is also learnt to have received consent from Punjab government with regard to subsidy burden on account of free power to farm sector, Scheduled Caste and non-SC BPL consumers.

The power subsidy burden has been projected at Rs. 5,300 crore for 2014-15.

Meanwhile, when asked to comment on proposed hike in power tariff, BJP, an ally of ruling Akalis in Punjab said it will take up the issue with the state government as and when it receives proposal in this regard.

"We have not come across such proposal (power tariff) so far. When it comes to us we will talk to the state government," Punjab BJP President Kamal Sharma said on Wednesday.

The state industry has demanded from the state government not to allow hike in power tariff, claiming it will have a negative impact on the state industry.

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