Power tariff order after Punjab budget in June: Rana Gurjit Singh
Cong government has promised to provide power at Rs 5 a unit to all consumers; order already delayed by a month and a halfpunjab Updated: May 14, 2017 20:45 IST
Punjab power minister Rana Gurjit Singh on Sunday said that power tariff for the current fiscal will be declared after the state budget is released in June.
Announcement of the revised power tariff has already been delayed, as under the Electricity Act 2003, it should be done by March 31, last day of a financial year, to be applicable from April 1.
Sources in the power department said once subsidies become clear on the announcement of the state budget, the Punjab State Electricity Regulatory Commission (PSERC) will take another three to four weeks to finalise the tariff order. In such a scenario, the tariff will not be announced before July, over three months after the stipulated time.
It may be further delayed as PSERC chairman DS Bains has resigned, and his three-month notice period expires in August. The regulatory commission may prefer to announce the tariff after the new incumbent takes charge of the top post.
The Punjab government is expected to clear its stand on power subsidy for agriculture sector and other consumer sections, who have been promised to get power at ₹5 a unit by the Congress, which took over in March. The move, if implemented, will cost the state exchequer a few thousand crores over and above the subsidy to agriculture sector and other consumer sections presently covered under the subsidised power policy.
During the previous fiscal (2016-17), the state government paid a subsidy of ₹5,200 crore for free power to agricultural consumers (for running water pumping sets) and a subsidy of ₹1,100 crore for schedules castes and below poverty line consumers.