The All-India Power Engineers Federation (AIPEF) has raised objections to the new power tariff policy that has been introduced by the Union Government under which private players will have the prerogative to automatically hike power tariffs.
The All-India Power Engineers Federation (AIPEF) said the automatic power tariff hike would enable private power generators to increase the cost of power due to change in domestic duties, levies and taxes in competitive bid projects. Further, they will be allowed to pass on the increase in the cost of fuel to consumers if Coal India fails to supply agreed coal and the producer opts for imported coal or coal from other sources.
Simultaneously, the policy allows developers to expand their plants by up to 100 per cent of their capacity through the automatic route.
AIPEF, said the amendment to automatic pass-through provision had been welcomed by the industry as the move would remove ambiguity and uncertainty for competitively bid projects, but the common consumers that were already reeling under the quarterly enhancement of fuel charges would have to bear the brunt of increase in cost of power generation by private producers. The tariff policy also allowed power plants to sell the surplus electricity through power exchanges.
He said most of the provisions in new tariff policy were aimed at benefitting the corporate houses, which would have the impact on tariff for common consumers. The policy would encourage ease of doing business to attract investments and ensure financial viability. The new policy might not of any benefit for the consumers.
AIPEF said it was not clear in the new policy that how state regulators would ensure electricity for all at affordable rates without any clearly defined roadmap.
He said without the review of ongoing power policy of overdependence on private houses, it was practically not possible to provide power to all at affordable rates.
The federation said the government should analyse and review the actual reasons of mounting losses of Discoms, which are now more than about Rs 4.3 lakh crore and debt was about Rs 3.8 lakh crore.