The Maharashtra government wants the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) to seek approval from the federal auditor and anti-corruption watchdog before allowing Tata Power's Mundra ultra-mega power project to raise tariff, owing to increased cost of imported coal.
Maharashtra is one of the five states that have long-term pact to buy power from the project. The state's condition for accepting a tariff revision, conveyed by principal secretary (power) Ajoy Mehta, could further delay relief to the Tata group. Mehta's letter, written in Marathi, argues that getting the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) and Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) to clear the proposal for raising tariff outside the provisions of the power purchase agreement -albeit due to rising fuel costs - would avoid allegations in future.
CERC had asked the five states to respond to the recommendations made by a panel under HDFC chairman Deepak Parekh. The report suggested raising tariff for imported coalbased power projects. Gujarat, Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan are the other states buying power from the Mundra project.
This move by the electricity commission may further delay revision in electricity tariffs from stations run by Tata Power (4,000 MW) and Adani Power (4,620 MW) at Mundra in Gujarat. The Parekh panel was set up after beneficiary states opposed CERC move to approve requests for a tariff hike from the Tata as well as the Adani groups. Both the groups have imported coalfired plants at Mundra and have been demanding a hike on the ground of higher import costs.