The Meghalaya State Electricity Regulatory Commission (MSERC) has approved a 15 per cent hike in power tariffs, rejecting the state government's proposal for a whopping 89 per cent increase in electricity rates.
"The Commission has approved an average increase of about 15 per cent of the power tariff in the state for the current fiscal year," MSERC Chairman Anand Kumar told PTI. He said the Commission has also approved a 13 per cent hike of power tariff of around 2.5 lakh domestic consumers while the tariff for 20,000 odd commercial consumers and 158 industrial consumers have been hiked by about 15 per cent.
The power tariff for around 60,000 BPL consumers (Kutir Jyoti metered consumers) has been raised the least with the Commission approving only 12 per cent hike, Kumar said. The approved increase in power tariff will be effective from April 1, 2014 till March 31, 2015. The Meghalaya Public Distribution Corporation Ltd (MePDCL) had proposed an increase of 89 per cent in a tariff petition filed before the Commission for 2014-15 to meet skyrocketing purchase and transmission cost of power, projected over Rs 600 crore for the current fiscal. According to the Commission's chief, the fixed power charge for domestic consumers has been raised to Rs 40 per KW per month from the existing Rs 35 while the fixed power charge for commercial consumers has been hiked by Rs 10 per KW per month from the existing tariff of Rs 70 per KW. The commercial consumers will have to shell Rs 5 per unit as against the previous charge of Rs 4.5. The approved charges would entitle the state-owned power company to charge Rs 2.9 for the first 100 units from the existing Rs 2.60.
The energy charge for the next 100 units has been raised to Rs 3.40 from the existing Rs 3 and energy charge above 200 units has been raised to Rs 4.40 from Rs 3.75, Kumar said.
The new tariff would however be lesser than neighbouring state like Assam (Rs 3.58-Rs 6.15 a unit), West Bengal (Rs 3.75-Rs 6.9) and Tripura (Rs 4.11-Rs 7.96 per unit).
The Commission has also approved the annual revenue of the Meghalaya Power Distribution Corporation Limited (MePDCL) at Rs 618 crore with an approved loss level of about 24 per cent, Sharma said.
The total power purchase cost of MePDCL is expected to be Rs 489 crore for the current financial year alone and it was estimated that Rs 4.7 a unit of revenue will be required to meet the power purchase cost itself, an official of the state-owned discom said.
Source- Business standard