Demand-supply gap in power sector persists, electricity duty up

In the past several weeks, there were occasions when power was purchased at a cost of more than Rs 10 per unit.

Published: 13th April 2022 04:33 AM  |   Last Updated: 13th April 2022 04:33 AM   |  A+A-

Power, energy, electricity, discom

Image used for representational purpose only.

By Express News Service

VIJAYAWADA: The Energy Department has maintained that every effort is being made to procure power irrespective of the cost, but due to the prevailing gap between demand and supply across the country, competition to get power from the power exchange is more. 

In the past several weeks, there were occasions when power was purchased at a cost of more than Rs 10 per unit. It is not only Andhra Pradesh, but most of the States are relying on power exchanges to meet the grid consumption.

“This is time for final wetting and harvesting of Rabi crops and with a good amount of surface and groundwater available, the demand for power from farmers to draw water for agriculture needs has increased. The situation is the same in almost all southern States and some northern States,” said an official of Energy Department. 

Meanwhile, the decision of the Energy Department to levy an electricity duty of Rs 1 per kWh (unit) on energy sales for commercial and industrial consumers has come as a shock to industries, which are still finding it hard to digest the government’s decision of imposing one day holiday and restricting the use of power to 50% for the industries which work for three shifts. 

Industrialists have expressed concern over the additional burden the latest decision will impose on the industries, which started their recovery phase post-Covd recently. Since 1994, industries have been paying six paise per unit as the electricity duty on par with domestic consumers, but now it has changed.  

While issuing the notification for levying electricity duty, the government said it is empowered to notify the rate from time to time to be paid by different consumer categories on energy sales as per the sub-section (1) of Section 3 of Electricity Duty Act 1939. It pointed out that in other states, the electricity duty is some percentage of consumption charges.

Inadequate release of subsidy during the period of 2014-19 has also resulted in the distribution utilities and APGENCO availing huge working capital liabilities to sustain operations, the department stated. In view of the above, there is an imperative need for the State government to augment revenue by tapping all available sources, the department stated.


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