‘DERC should not announce tariff hike till CAG audit is complete’

Even though indications are that the power regulator may hike the tariff, residents’ welfare associations are ready to challenge it and take a stay in the appellate electricity tribunals.

The RWAs and other citizen groups have been demanding that the Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC) not announce any tariff hike till the CAG audit is complete.

The DERC is expected to announce the annual tariff revision next week. Unlike the past, the three discoms have not asked for a tariff hike this year, but pleaded with the DERC to increase the fuel price adjustment cost (FPAC) and the power purchase adjustment cost (PPAC).

United Residents of Delhi general secretary Saurabh Gandhi said if the power regulator increases the tariff by increasing either the PPAC or the FPAC, they will approach the appellate tribunal against the order. He alleged that several questions about the discoms’ claims of financial loss have not been answered properly and neither has the regulator taken the same into account.

Mr. Gandhi alleged that provisions of PPAC does not come under the scope of regulation and only the provision of FPAC has been mentioned in the Electricity Act. He also alleged that the DERC was using the two different terms interchangeably to benefit the discoms.

“As per the Electricity Act 2003, the regulator can not tamper with the tariff without a public hearing more than once, except on the name of FPAC,” he added.

“In 2012-13, the PPAC of the discoms came down relatively as compared to 2011-12. Even the FPAC increased only marginally, but still the discoms were given a three per cent to 4.5 per cent hike. In 2013, Tata Powers had asked for increase of a 1.71 per cent hike, but the DERC allowed the discom a hike of three per cent, which is a clear case of bias.”

“From 2007, the discoms have been giving provisional true ups of accounts, which are projected accounts and not actual accounts. So till the time the actual accounts are not given, how can you claim that the company is running under loss? Subsequently, there is no point of tariff orders for recovery of the alleged financial loss of discoms.”

The discom refused to comment saying the matter was in appellate.

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