A spokesperson of the Haryana discoms on Sunday said some people with vested interests and motives were misleading power consumers by stating that the Haryana power distribution corporations are raising inflated electricity bills, which is not correct.
The Dakshin Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam and Uttar Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam are government-owned corporations and completely governed by the regulator, the spokesperson said, adding that discoms purchase power from generators and distribute it without earning any profit.
"The discoms issue bills based on the tariff fixed by the Haryana Electricity Regulatory Commission (HERC). All charges taken from consumers are audited by the auditor general and are monitored by HERC. As such discoms cannot charge anything beyond the tariff order of the HERC. It is not possible for the discoms to issue inflated bills," the spokesperson said. So, it is wrong, baseless and misleading to say that the discoms are raising inflated bills, the spokesperson added. "Moreover, there is a consumer grievance redressal mechanism available through the Consumer Grievance Redressal Forum and ombudsman controlled by the HERC."
There was a tariff increase of merely 13% for consumers vide HERC's order dated March 31, 2013. Thereafter, there has been no increase in the tariff. The tariff in Haryana for domestic consumers is minimum Rs 2.98 per unit and maximum Rs 5.98 compared to Rs 4.67 and Rs 6.42 in Punjab, Rs 4.10 and `6.16 in Delhi, Rs 4.38 and `5.88 in Uttar Pradesh and minimum Rs 5.06 and maximum Rs 7 per unit in Rajasthan.
The tariff hike is an annual exercise done before the commencement of a year under which discoms file their annual revenue requirement (ARR) with the HERC. The HERC scrutinises various expenses projected by discoms for the ensuing year and allows them as per its norms and then estimates the revenue that would be available to discoms at the current tariff. "This mismatch, if any, between the approved expenses and the revenue is then adjusted through tariff increase. So, there cannot be any tariff hike in between the financial year," the spokesperson said.
The discoms have paid about Rs 600 crore on account of fuel surcharge adjustment (FSA) to the generator, the Haryana Power Generation Corporation Ltd, as per the provisions laid by the regulator during the past nine months. The FSA was charged by the generators because of increase in cost of fuel and transportation of coal. The FSA, which had already been paid by discoms was to be recovered from consumers. The amount recovered through levy of the FSA is much less than the discoms have already paid to the generators, the spokesperson added.