Not right time to up power tariffs: Experts

The various Escoms (electricity supply companies) in Karnataka have been asking the Karnataka Electricity Regulatory Commission to revise the power tariffs at the earliest.
For representational purposes. (File photo | Reuters)
For representational purposes. (File photo | Reuters)

BENGALURU: The various Escoms (electricity supply companies) in Karnataka have been asking the Karnataka Electricity Regulatory Commission to revise the power tariffs at the earliest. But experts and some senior energy department officials say the good monsoon showers and the pandemic have had a huge impact on the sector and the revision will be a futile exercise.Experts suggest that the department and KERC instead work on new policies and systemic corrections so that the economy is revived faster.

The KERC usually announces the power tariff revision in March, coming into effect from April, but this year it has been delayed because of the pandemic and the lockdown.A KERC official said, “For the financial year 2019, Rs 2,295 crore for power purchase was allocated. The revision for power allocation was to be done in May.”While some energy department officials state that it is about time KERC announced the revision, some others point to the legal and financial hurdles. Some others point to the ongoing Appellate Tribunal for Electricity court hearing between KPTCL and KERC for the delay.

Another official, however, pointed that there is a fixed power purchase and supply costs which have to be borne by the Escoms and the other stakeholders, for whom now revision is essential. Power is already being sold at a very cheap rate (Rs 3.55 to Rs 4.20 per unit) to commercial firms, which is  becoming a burden.

Experts, however, want to know the buyers the government is keen to tap. M G Prabhakar, power expert from FKCCI, said: “The Escoms could be suffering a revenue deficit, but where are the buyers? The biggest buyers, commercial units, were closed for five months and their revival will take over a year. So hiking power costs will only affect the government more. At this time, systemic corrections in the department and new policy decisions should be chalked out so that industries which are on the revival path benefit and so does the power sector. Looking at industries as an indicator of growth, consumption, demand and generation must be channelised.”

Related Stories

No stories found.

X
The New Indian Express
www.newindianexpress.com