The Delhi BJP on Tuesday demanded that the power tariff in Delhi be immediately decreased by 20 per cent and the Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission issue the required directions in this regard. 

Addressing a press conference here, Delhi BJP president Vijender Gupta said such a reduction in tariff was a right of the people as the DERC had got the accounts of the power distribution companies for 2009-10 examined and it was found that instead of a losses the discoms had posted a profit of Rs.1,200 crore.

Leader of Opposition in Delhi Assembly V.K. Malhotra claimed that on May 4, the DERC was about to announce a 20 per cent reduction in the power tariff for all types of consumers, in view of the profits made by the discoms.

``But just before the orders in this regard were to be issued by DERC, the Delhi Government issued a direction under Section 18 of the Delhi Electricity Act that the power tariff should not be decreased,’’ he said.

Because of this, he said, DERC was not able to take a decision even after receiving petition from discoms for fixing the power tariff, even after 120 days of lock in period. 

The two senior BJP leaders questioned the rationale behind the Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit issuing directions for not decreasing the power tariff. They also pointed out that role could not be undermined in the matter as she also headed the Power Department.

Following the Delhi Government direction, the BJP leaders said, DERC had requested the Solicitor-General of India Gopal Subramanium to give his advice in this matter. ``The Solicitor-General was of the opinion that since the DERC is autonomous body, the Delhi Government cannot issue directions to it and no such view is binding on it,’’ they said.

Prof. Malhotra said that raises the moot question, ``Why Ms. Dikshit was acting in favour of the power distribution companies?’’

Mr. Gupta said it also needs to be asked why the Chief Minister does not want power tariffs to go down, particularly when the lock in period of 120 days has ended and the discoms are earning huge profits.

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