Delhi's tariff announcement for the current fiscal could be delayed. The Central Information Commission has directed Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission to disclose public information on discoms' tariff petitions in simple language with analysis and explanations so that a common man may understand and respond, before inviting his objections and views.
While the last date for receiving public feedback on tariff is already over, sources said the commission might have to undertake the process all over again, as per CIC directive.
DERC officials are still studying the directive and have consulted its legal team. "We are studying the order. We have always disclosed full information on discom petitions, so it's unclear as to what exactly has to be done. If required, we may again invite public feedback," said a senior official.
The commission also directed DERC to proactively disclose information on controversial points like prudence check on electricity companies, non-submission of report on prudence check by consultant PWC, income tax issues and cost incurred by discoms in contesting cases in Supreme Court against CAG audit and CIC decision making them answerable under RTI Act. It directed DERC explain to people the impact of these factors on consumer interests vis-a-vis profits earned by discoms.
DERC had claimed details cannot be shared before a decision is taken. "It is not legally correct to say that DERC would share information after a decision is taken as it has a mandate to inform the people while formulating the tariff because it is seeking their objections and views, which cannot be given without complete information," information commissioner Sridhar Acharyulu said in his order.
RTI activist Anil Sood complained to CIC that, though DERC sought views of the public before tariff fixation — last date being April 17, it has not posted the complete information in simple language — in violation of provisions for suo motu disclosure under RTI Act.
Under section 4(1)(c) of RTI Act, read side by side with relevant provisions of the Electricity Act, DERC has a responsibility to provide complete information about tariff fixation, which is something that affects millions of power consumers in the national capital, Acharyulu, too, noted.