Private discoms BSES Rajdhani Power Ltd and BSES Yamuna Power Ltd told the Supreme Court that they were in an "unviable" financial position and their revenue gap could be bridged through a 20-25 per cent hike in power tariff.
BSES Yamuna Power Pvt Ltd (BYPL) and BSES Rajdhani Pvt Ltd (BRPL), which owe money to various power generating PSUs including NTPC and NHPC, had moved the court seeking various reliefs including a direction that the power supply to them should not be cut by the PSUs for ensuring uninterrupted supply in Delhi.
Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC), which fixes the power tariff, opposed the plea of the private discoms saying they have "buffered up" the losses.
"Tata Delhi Power Distribution Limited (TDPDL) is third the private discom which supplies power in Delhi. It also acts under the same so-called draconian regulatory regime and it has paid every penny to the power generating companies.
"This can be checked up with the lawyers (of PSUs). It is only BSES companies which are facing all kinds of problems. They have buffered up the losses. I can establish it from the records," the counsel, appearing for DERC, told a bench headed by Justice J Chelameswar.
At the start of the day-long hearing, senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for one of the BSES firms, referred to the accounts and said a major portion of the revenue was being spent in purchasing electricity from the government-owned power generating companies and the firm was denied "cost reflective tariff" from the regulator (DERC).
"BSES Rajdhani Pvt Ltd started with opening overdues of Rs 2,847 crore in January 2014 and by January, 2015, the closing overdues went up to Rs 3,965 crore.
"Similarly, BSES Yamuna Power Pvt Ltd (BYPL) started with opening overdues of Rs 2,394 crore in January 2014 and by January 2015, the closing overdues was Rs 3,590 crore. This is completely unviable financial position," Sibal said.
He said that largely the regulator (DERC) was responsible for the present mess in which the discoms are in.
"The regulator is not exercising the power independently of the government. If the revenue gap is to be bridged then the power tariff needs to be raised by 20-25 per cent," he said.