The consumers of BEST, Reliance, MSEB and Tata have been paying different charges for their usage leading to a feeling of disparity among consumers. The uniformity, on the lines of the one implemented in Delhi, will give respite to the consumers paying more rate," he said.
Pawar said that the government has always acted in the interest of consumers. "People were skeptical about load shedding in the suburbs after the rift between Reliance and Tata Power in March. But the government has successfully intervened in the issue and averted load shedding. The endeavour for uniformity in the tariff are also being thought of in public interest," he said.
Pawar said migration of high-end users [commercial users where billing is high] from RInfra to Tata was bound to put extra burden on users of low-end users of RInfra because the shift will reduce the company's cross subsidy component significantly.
"Mumbai airport switched to Tata from RInfra and is saving more than Rs 10 lakh a month. This type of migration may impact low-end consumers of the other company because it reduces cross subsidy," Pawar said. Power companies charge bulk users high rates and make their profits from them while providing power to domestic consumers are subsidised rates.
The minister said some companies were using their dominant position [by way of availability of more power] to offer better rates.
"We will not allow this because it increases expenses of other companies," Pawar said.
Tata and RInfra are fighting in the Bombay High Court because the former has refused to give the latter 500 mega watts in future. RInfra has argued that in absence of Tata's supply it will have to buy expensive power and pass the burden on to its consumers.
Several legislators alleged that Tata was denying the city its share of power and selling a significant quantum to other states.
Pawar assured the House that the government would not hesitate in recommending to the electricity regulator that it stop this practice.
Tata has 1.60 lakh commercial consumers and Reliance has 25 lakh in the city. "The consumers have started opting for cheaper electricity by the competitor providers. When the international airport realised that Tata Power is cheaper than Reliance, it shifted to the Tata Power and that resulted in the saving of Rs10 lakh per day. Their savings per annum was Rs36 crore," Pawar said.
Pawar reiterated that his department's plan to make the state free of load shedding by 2012 is yielding good response and is going as per schedule. "We have a plan to generate 1,970MW in 2010-11 and 3,890MW in 2011-12, making us self sufficient to match the demand in the next two years. In 2012-13 and 2013-14, the power generation estimated is 3,120MW and 2,426 MW respectively," he said.