With summer around the corner, Puducherry residents have sweet-bitter news as power tariff may not be hiked, but a ten per cent surcharge may be levied.
The department has proposed to retain the tariff as approved for the financial year 2013-2014. But a 10 per cent surcharge will be levied on tariffs as approved by the Joint Electricity Regulatory Commission (JERC) in the tariff order for 2013-2014.
As per details provided by the Electricity Department, net Aggregate Revenue Requirement (ARR) for the year is `1,149.87 crore and the revenue from the existing tariff is `1,080.67 crore, leaving a revenue gap of `69.2 crore. This is proposed to be treated as regulatory asset.
The department has taken umbrage of JERC’s tariff order for 2013-2014, which proposed to amortise regulatory asset of `320.56 crore in three years by levying 10 per cent surcharge on the tariff from 2013-2014 to 2015-2016.
As per the proposal for tariff petition for 32.5 MW Puducherry Power Corporation Limited (PPCL) gas power station for the financial year 2014-15, the Karaikal unit has now filed to claim the capacity/fixed charges for `24.39 crore per annum. The present average selling price unit for the period 2013-2014 is `3.88 and the proposed average selling price per unit for the period 2014-2015 is `3.97.
Meanwhile, the proposal to levy surcharge came in for criticism from representatives of political parties as well as consumers at the public hearing held by the JERC for the State of Goa and UTs here on Friday.
JERC chairman, S K Chaturvedi heard the submissions of the public on the issues of Aggregate Revenue Requirement (ARR) and tariff petition for the financial year 2014-15, petition for implementation of Demand Side Management (DSM) based efficient lighting programme and tariff petition for (32.5 MW) PPCL gas power station.
Communist Party of India (CPI) Puducherry secretary, R Viswanathan and CPM secretary V Perumal said the public are struggling with the spiraling prices of essential commodities and the proposal to levy surcharge will add to their burden. They demanded that the surcharge, which was already implemented in 2013-2014 and the proposal to continue it for 2014-2015 should be withdrawn.
Viswanathan said the Electricity Department should collect arrears from defaulters, including PSUs. “Department should take effective steps to minimise the transmission loss, which is at its highest in the UT,” said Perumal. He demanded that steps should be initiated to curb power theft, rampant in Puducherry and Karaikal.
“No action has been taken against the steel company in Yanam, which had stolen power to the tune of several crores and the company had not pay the instalment of the compounded amount,” he pointed out.