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Power consumers in for a shock as discoms seek over Rs. 9,000 cr

Special Correspondent
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The middle and lower middle class families are in for a ‘power shock’ from April 1 next if the proposals submitted by the distribution companies to the AP Electricity Regulatory Commission (APERC) seeking permission for a hefty hike in power tariff are approved.

The discoms did not spare commercial consumers under the LT category too.

They proposed to raise Rs. 4,312 crore, a huge 28 per cent increase, in tariffs for the two categories, covering domestic and LT commercial/industrial consumers.

Tariff increase for industrial consumers under the HT category is pegged at 23.9 per cent, accruing additional revenue of Rs. 5,027 crore.

As in the past agricultural consumers have been exempted from the hike with an assurance that seven-hour free power supply would continue.

Charges for domestic consumers are proposed to be increase by Rs. 0.50 a unit for those consuming less than 150 units a month and Rs. 1 a unit for the remaining categories.

Coupled with this is the increase in customer charges ranging from Rs. 5 to Rs. 25 a month for domestic and commercial consumers.

Justifying the proposed hike, the Discoms projected their annual revenue requirement at Rs. 52,753 crore against realisation pegged at Rs. 36,345 crore, leaving a deficit of Rs. 16,409 crore.

The Government’s subsidy was estimated at around Rs. 7,089 crore, but the Discoms would be still left with a revenue deficit of Rs. 9,339 crore. The average revenue realisation was pegged at Rs. 4.36 a unit against the cost of generation and supply Rs. 6.32 a unit.

The cost of supply had gone up 20 per cent from Rs. 5.25 a unit to Rs. 6.32 a unit, an increase of Rs. 1.07 a unit, over the previous year. Energy charge for HT consumers is proposed to be increased by 50 paise a unit for all categories.

The increase in cost of supply, according to CPDCL director G. Raghuma Reddy, was on account of power purchase costs that went up by 7 per cent (transportation and gas price) as also the increase in expenses of network due to pay revision and other factors.

The Discoms projected a revenue deficit of five per cent (Rs. 0.27 a unit) during the year and wanted the Commission to approve recovery of the same along with power bills of the next fiscal year.

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