CHENNAI: On a day when the Tamil Nadu Electricity Regulatory Commission proposed an across-the-slab hike in power tariff, Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa announced that her government would cushion the poor from the tariff revision by providing additional grants to the Tamil Nadu Electricity Board (TNEB).
In a suo motu public notice issued on Tuesday, the regulator proposed a power tariff hike ranging from 15 to 31 per cent for domestic, commercial and industrial connections, and 60.44 per cent for government and aided educational institutions. As per the rules of the regulator, the TNEB should submit a tariff revision proposal every year based on all expenditures involved and if it doesn’t, the Commission would have the authority to fix the tariff revision suo motu, as it has done on Tuesday.
“Whatever be the tariff revision the TNERC may notify, my government will provide additional grants to the TNEB so that the poor and downtrodden will not be affected by the revision,” the Chief Minister said in a statement here.
Referring to the public notice issued by the TNERC, the Chief Minister said the final notification for the tariff hike would be issued only after holding public hearings and would be based on the interests of the consumers and the TNEB, the expenditure involved in upcoming power projects and infrastructure development.
The public notice issued by the TNERC is based on the following facts: increase in coal price to Rs 3,298 cr per tonne, hike in the price of imported coal to Rs 6,896 per tonne, hike in expenditure related to salaries and pension to the employees to Rs 4,370 cr and the increasing burden of interest on loans availed by TNEB for generation and distribution works to the tune of Rs 8,643 cr.
The Chief Minister observed that the government had provided Rs 25,255 crore to the TNEB to redeem the Board.