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Home News Power Sector News Delhi - Cong attacks own govt over power tariff hike

Delhi - Cong attacks own govt over power tariff hike

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SheilaAs it defended the hike in power tariff announced last week, the Delhi government came under attack from its own in the Assembly on 30-08-2011. Ruling Congress party legislators demanded an immediate rollback. Four-time legislators Mukesh Sharma and Subhash Chopra and debutant MLA Neeraj Basoya, all from Congress, alleged that power companies were fleecing consumers and sought the government's intervention.

But replying to the calling attention motion, Power Minister Haroon Yusuf said the Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC) that decides power tariff considers "everything" before taking a final call.

The DERC increased power prices by up to 21.77 per cent last Friday and agreed to power companies' demand that tariff be revised every quarter to make up for fluctuations in fuel price.

Yusuf told the Assembly: "There was no increase in the last six years... fuel price has increased by 103 per cent since 2005... power purchase cost (for the companies) has increased from Rs 1.52 per unit to Rs. 4.25."

He also announced that the government had decided to extend for another year the existing subsidy of Re 1 per unit to those who consume up to 200 units a month.

However, Uttam Nagar MLA Mukesh Sharma said the government should speak for the people instead of defending the hike.

" If we don't speak up against this unjustified increase then who will? The hike was based on statements of accounts given by power companies whose veracity no one knows," Sharma said.

He pointed out DERC's former chairperson Berjinder Singh had in 2009 suggested that tariff be reduced since power companies were earning profits, but the proposition was quashed then.

He said the CAG should audit the accounts of power companies, a demand his fellow Congress legislator and former Speaker Subhash Chopra supported.

Mukesh Sharma said Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit's government had been elected for the third straight term because of its transparency and it should maintain that characteristic.

"If it doesn't, then today it is sitting on this side (treasury benches), tomorrow... who knows," he said, pointing to where the Opposition legislators sit.

Source- Indian Express


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