Staff Reporter

Stress on need to use cheaper fuel for power generation

Rise in power consumption in State

‘Limit subsidy to the economically backward’

KOCHI: The Standing Council of Trade Unions has demanded that power tariff should be determined on the basis of cost of supply. This point has been made clear in the Electricity Act of 2003 as well as in the orders given by the Electricity Regulatory Commission. The present tariff applicable to industries would have to be reduced on the basis of this aspect, according to a statement issued by the Council.

Distribution in the domestic sector incurs a cost of 441 ps. a unit while the income is only 171 ps. a unit. In comparison, the average expenditure for distribution of power to industries is only 168 ps. This is because the transmission loss on extra high tension power is below 3 per cent. The transmission loss in the case of high tension power supply is below 10 per cent and that for low tension is 26 per cent, the Council said.

The Council stressed the need for use of cheaper fuel for generation of electricity. Petroleum products should be avoided as far as possible. The use of natural gas should be based on its price factor, which could be decided on a long-term.

The consumption of electricity in the State during 2002-2006 has increased considerably. But the State has not been able to meet the demand. Scarcity of power had adversely affected several industries during the period. The power utilised by such industries was later diverted to other sectors to meet the demand. The Council is of the opinion that subsidy should be limited to those who are economically backward. The existing slabs also needed to be changed. Electricity should not be considered as a mere commodity.