The discoms had challenged Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission's tariff order of May 23, 2009, on 13 counts. The tribunal has ruled in favour of them on 11 of these. It pulled up the commission for making unrealistic assumptions while framing the 2008-2009 tariff order. It said DERC's assumptions were based on verbal enquiries rather than actual facts.
"The commission is expected to make a realistic assessment of the power purchase quantum. Any large deviation due to incorrect assessment, as made in this case, will create a revenue gap and may result in cash flow problems for the distribution company,'' the order said. The hearing for Tata-backed NDPL is also coming up regarding similar issues outlined by the BSES companies.
DERC chairman P D Sudhakar said it was too early to comment on whether this order would impact the tariff announcement for 2011-12. "We are still examining legal implications of the order and what effect it could have on tariff announcement. The judgment is based on some orders passed by the previous commission and we are still trying to determine what the impact could be,'' he said.
The distribution licencees had outlined 13 points of contention, claiming incorrect assumptions of power purchase costs had worsened their financial status and credit rating. The major points challenged by discoms were on overestimation of power availability from new stations for 2009-10, lower power purchase cost assumed for 2009-10, etc.
Experts said DERC can either approach Supreme Court or factor in expenses which are due to discoms in the coming tariff orders. The tribunal has also asked the Commission to reconsider the rate of carrying cost at the prevalent market rate keeping in view prevailing prime lending rate.
Source- Times of India