Opposition blamed for trying to create apprehensions among people on power tariff hike

Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy has asserted that the recent aggregate revenue requirement submitted to the Electricity Regulatory Commission by the Distribution Companies seeking approval for hiking power charges is “still in proposal stage”.

The Discoms projected the likely revenue requirement for their operations for the next year. There is still time and people are free to submit their suggestions and objections to the ERC. The Cabinet sub-committee on power will discuss the issue threadbare and the proposals will be discussed by the State Council of Ministers subsequently.

“The government will then present its version to the ERC in March last week,” he said participating in a meeting at Jubilee Hall to distribute cheques to people whose lands were acquired for setting up institutions like the National Security Agency. He criticised the Opposition parties for trying to create apprehensions among poor and farmers on power tariff hike.

The Discoms submitted proposals to the ERC, an independent body, presenting the power demand estimated to be around 1.06 lakh million units of which conventional sources like coal, water and gas would contribute around 84,000 MU. Given the scope for purchase of power from expensive sources like RLNG with a single unit costing Rs. 10, utilities estimated the total expenditure for the year at Rs. 49,000 crore while revenue was pegged at Rs. 30,500 crore, leaving a shortfall of Rs. 18,500 crore.

With the government subsidy pegged at Rs. 5,580 crore, the utilities submitted proposals seeking ERC’s approval to bridge the deficit by effecting tariff hike.

He explained that the State faced shortage of power during the current year on account of steep drop in hydel and gas power generation, imposing additional costs on the utilities. The shortfall in hydel and gas generation had forced the utilities to buy power at Rs. 5.50 a unit to meet the requirements.