The government is gearing up to give shock treatment to power consumers what with the power utilities giving final touches to revise the existing power tariff upwards by at least 10 per cent.
According to highly-placed sources, discoms would present their revenue requirements and earnings statement to chief minister Chandrababu Naidu in a fortnight. Sources said the discoms are reeling under losses to the tune of Rs 8,000 crore and are expecting to recover Rs 2,500-3,000 crore by increasing the tariff to the domestic sector by 10 per cent. Sources said that consumers are sure to face additional burden with higher tariff even if the state government reduced the quantum of increase to around 6-7 per cent.
Ironically, the state government has assured the Centre to revise the tariff at least by 5 per cent annually while joining the UDAY scheme as part of the reforms being brought in the energy sector.
The AP Electricity Regulatory Commission (APERC) has directed the discoms to submit their tariff proposals for the next financial year (2017-18) by the end of November. The discoms are likely to seek extension of the deadline for submission of their revenue returns with the ERC as the state government has to take a final call on the issue of tariff revision.
Sources said that the issue of latest revenues and expenditure of power distribution companies in the state was hotly discussed at the high-level review meeting held in the city on Monday.
The meeting was chaired by principal secretary, energy, Ajay Jain in which CMDs of both Southern Power Distribution Company Limited (SPDCL) and Eastern Power Distribution Company Limited (EPDCL) — HY Dora and MM Naik — and AP Genco managing director Vijayanand were present.
Sources said that the senior officials found the discoms in dire straits and expressed their displeasure for failing to tighten the purses. The situation was in fact noticed at a meeting held about three months ago and the discoms were directed to cut down the costs drastically.
However, the continued purchase of power from private sector reported to have bleed the discoms heavily resulting in massive losses. The discoms purchased Rs 22,876 crore worth power during the current year and are estimating that it might go up to Rs 24,000 crore.
The discoms are expected to spend Rs 1,000 crore exclusively on transmission costs during the current fiscal from which SPDCL’s share would be around Rs 650 crore and EPDCL’s share around Rs 350 crore. “We will get an exact picture by next fortnight as the exercise of computing the revenues through sales and costs is l being worked out,” said a senior official.
A top source said that a decision with regard to the quantum of hike to be proposed before the ERC would be taken only after getting the final revenue reports. Interestingly, AP is ranked one in the country by the World Bank in energy sector.
Meanwhile, CPM state secretary P Madhu and CPI secretary K Ramakrishna have demanded that the state government withdraw any proposal to hike power tariff as it would impose a heavy burden on the consumers. Tyler Higbee Authentic JerseyShare This