KSEB’s financial statement shows a huge revenue deficit

The Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) on Thursday set the ball rolling for a power tariff hike in the State by submitting before the Kerala State Electricity Regulatory Commission its financial statement for 2014-15 showing a huge revenue deficit.

The revenue deficit expectation was of the order of nearly Rs.2,900 crore, informed sources told The Hindu.

Out of this amount, the KSEB proposes recovering around Rs.1,400 crore through tariff hike across different categories of power consumers.

The particulars of the proposal will be known only after the commission puts the statement on its website www.erckerala.org.

Since the KSEB’s annual sale of power will come to around 1,800 crore units, recovering Rs.1,400 crore through tariff hike will push up the average per unit tariff by nearly Rs.0.80.

According to limited information available at the moment, the proposal exempts domestic consumers drawing up to 40 units of power a month from any tariff hike. The average tariff for the domestic consumers as a whole will go up by 25 per cent and that for industrial consumers by 15 per cent.

There is also a suggestion to introduce a ‘non-telescopic tariff’ system for domestic consumers using more than 200 units of power a month. (It means that each unit of power used by a domestic consumer drawing more than 200 units a month will be billed at the same high rate applicable for the 200-unit-plus category, instead of the ‘telescopic’ system of billing under which the first so many units carry one rate, second another rate and so on.) ‘Non-telescopic tariff’ system at present applicable only for domestic consumers in the 300-unit-plus category.

Public hearing

The commission will scrutinise the KSEB’s statement, gather the views of consumers, and call a public hearing before issuing its tariff order. These procedures can take up to 120 days from the date of submission of the statement.