The hike is 25 paise to 80 paise per unit for consumers in different categories, according to official sources.
The tariff, second in 10 months, has been revised for consumers of domestic, non-domestic, small industries, medium industries and large industries categories.
In domestic category, the energy charges for BPL consumers consuming up to first 50 units per month, have been raised from existing Rs 2.25 per unit to Rs 2.75 per unit.
The energy charges for Small Domestic category consuming up to 50 units per month have been raised from existing Rs 2.50 per unit to Rs 3 per unit as proposed.
The charges for General Domestic consumers (consuming more than 50 units per month) for up to first 50 units per month have been raised from existing Rs 2.50 per unit to Rs 3 per unit and he charges for consumption above 50 units but up to 150 units have been raised from existing Rs 4 per unit to Rs 4.65 per unit.
The charges have also been revised in other categories and, according to an official, the overall hike in the tariff is almost 18 per cent.While the hike in power tariff is expected to partially reduce the financial burden on the state's discoms,the hike has left most sectors in the state unhappy and angry. Despite the fact that the domestic power generation has topped the Ashok Gehlot government's priority list, the state government has failed to regularise power supply while the rates have been revised twice in the last one year.
According to experts, the hike comes with a focus on reducing the financial crisis that the state discoms face but loses out badly when it comes to being consumer-centric. "If and whenever that will be - Rajasthan being self-dependent and discoms not suffering losses - for now it is the consumers who have to feel the pinch. The consumer, though, should be happy that the hike has been minimum," admits an official.
The state government in itseffortto reduce the losses of the discoms has assured the Rajasthan Electricity Regulatory Commission ( RERC) to take several measures including increasing the financial assistance. The state government during this financial year has agreed to increase its additional support to discoms to meet the past revenue deficit, from Rs 120 crore to Rs 700 crore.Thiswouldbeincreased by 5 per cent every year till 2021-2022.
A five per cent annual increase in the interest-free loans of Rs 450 crore will be provided to the discoms and in the transitional cash support of Rs 400 crore provided to the discoms. This apart, in order to reduce the burden on interest on short term loans, the state government has assured the commission to get these loans restructured and is also considering the possibility of issuing bonds to reduce the interest burden.
The present hike is expected to reduce the revenue loss which has accumulated to Rs 8,000 crore by Rs 1,816 crore. The state government already loses out on Rs 1,150 crore which the discoms need to pay up as electricity duty as the amount is not taken from the discoms for providing the subsidies to BPL and farmers.
The state government is not missing out on the opportunity on explaining why the hike is necessary but falls short of answers when it comes to regular power supply or the frequent power cuts. From domestic consumers to industry - all have to regularly face power cuts because of the wide gap between demand and supply. While the state government claims that the farmers ' demand for power for irrigation is met on a priority basis, the farmer community is the state disagrees. Wednesday's power hike has left a sour taste in everybody's mouth, mainly because of the irregular supply.
Meanwhile, the hike has triggered off a war of words and blame game between the ruling party and the Opposition, with each blaming the other for the financial situation of the discoms. Criticising the hike, state BJP president Arun Chaturvedi has announced that the state BJP would observe August 11 as anti-power tariff hike day and hold protests across the state.
On the other hand, state PCC president Dr Chandrabhan has said that the BJP has no moral right to protest as it was during the previous BJP regime that the financial situations of the state discoms worsened."The hike was in evitable," he said. Chief minister Ashok Gehlot has said the hike in power tariff will not affect farmers,BPL families and small domestic consumers in the state as government will bear the hike for these customers.
Source- Business standard