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Home News Power Sector News Sheila Dikshit ready to deliver power tariff hike

Sheila Dikshit ready to deliver power tariff hike

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Sheila DikshitEven as Delhi's electricity regulator is in the process of deciding whether to hike tariffs, Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit  spoke in favour of increased rates. "Tariffs have not been hiked in three-four years. Things have changed since then," Dikshit told reporters at a function in New Delhi. "We will have to consider factors like inflation and increase in the cost of living," she said.

The Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC) has been asked by the power distribution companies to hike rates by 60% in view of the increased cost of power. The new rates are expected to be announced in August.

Tariffs are fixed by the DERC, which is an autonomous, quasi-judicial body while the state government is a majority stakeholder in the private power companies.

Dikshit told media that though it was not upto her government to determine tariffs, Delhiites should "learn to pay for what they consume and not expect someone else to foot the bill. The cost of power is not R2 like it used to be four years ago."

On whether she would extend a subsidy if there is a steep hike, the CM said it would depend on what the DERC rolls out. Residents plan to go to DERC to submit their objections and protest at the public hearing on tariffs next week. "The discoms have fudged figures and the whole tariff determination process is a farce," said Pankaj Aggarwal, secretary general of the Residents Welfare Associations' Joint Front.
The CM maintained a clear stand while speaking on tariff, especially after her government came under heavy criticism from Delhi High Court recently for overstepping its jurisdiction and interfering in tariff fixation, which is the domain of the regulatory body DERC. The high court had slammed the government for meddling in tariff determination and declared a communication sent by the government to DERC last year in May to stall tariff announcement till they gave a go-ahead, as "absolutely unjustified, unwarranted and untenable" and accordingly quashed it. The city's three private distribution utilities, BSES Rajdhani, BSES Yamuna and NDPL, have been campaigning for a tariff hike strongly, citing high inflation and liquidity crunch. The discoms have maintained that current tariff in Delhi are not cost-reflective and need to change in accordance with current costs.

The CM first spoke about inflation during Transco's ninth foundation day celebrations on Friday morning. Inaugurating the function, Dikshit said the electricity sector of Delhi was more than 100 years old. "In 1905, the first 2 MW power station at Lahori Gate was started. Now the demand has reached around 5000 MW. We aim to make Delhi at par with other world-class cities like London and Paris. Electricity is a basic requirement to create infrastructure to make it a world class city. The privatization of power in Delhi has been very successful and is role model for the world,'' she said at the function.


Source- Hindustan Times


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