Power consumers in Andhra Pradesh have to wait until next fiscal year for reduction of tariffs

Proposals for restructuring the tariffs would be presented in November and it would come into force with the approval by the APERC from April 1, 2025, says Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu

Published - July 10, 2024 08:59 pm IST - AMARAVATI

The total burden on power consumers during the YSRCP’s tenure is ₹32,166 crore, resulting in an overall tariff increase of 21%., said Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu while presenting a White Paper on power sector in Amaravati on July 9.

The total burden on power consumers during the YSRCP’s tenure is ₹32,166 crore, resulting in an overall tariff increase of 21%., said Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu while presenting a White Paper on power sector in Amaravati on July 9. | Photo Credit: File Photo

The power consumers in Andhra Pradesh have to wait until the next financial year for the restructuring of the tariffs as the government has said that proposals in this regard would be presented to the Andhra Pradesh Electricity Regulatory Commission (APERC) in November.

With the change in guard in the State, people are expecting a reduction in power traiffs as the NDA partners —Telugu Desam Partry (TDP), Jana Sena Party (JSP) and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)— during the election campaigns highlighted the recurrent hikes in the charges during the YSRCP’s tenure, saying that the consumers were being burdened with true-up and Fuel and Power Purchase Cost Adjustment (FPPCA) charges. 

Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu, while releasing a White Paper on the power sector on July 9 (Tuesday), pointed out that there was a “phenomenal increase” in tariff burden on consumers during the YSRCP’s tenure. 

“In the past five years, there have been multiple hikes in power tariff. In addition, indirect tariff hikes through true-up charges, electricity duty, and fuel surcharge (FPPCA) have also been imposed on consumers. The total burden on consumers during the YSRCP’s tenure is ₹32,166 crore, resulting in an overall tariff increase of 21%.,” Mr. Naidu said while quoting the figures from the White Paper.

The burden on consumers due to the tariff increase from FY 2019-20 to FY 2023-24 was ₹16,699 crore, while fuel surcharge (FPPCA) of ₹5,886 crore was recovered from the consumers in FY 2023-24. Moreover, true-up charges of ₹3,977 crore were collected from consumers in FY 2023-24. The increase in electricity duty added a burden of ₹5,604 crore to consumers during the last two fiscal years (FY 2022-23 and FY 2023-24).  

Tariff for all consumers has been increased by an average of 21% during the last five years. However, poor or low-end domestic consumers were impacted with higher tariff increase of up to 98% compared to 29% tariff increase for middle-class domestic consumers. This has impacted more than 153 lakh domestic consumers in the State, the Chief Minister explained in the White Paper. 

The average tariff for domestic consumers increased from ₹3.87 per unit in FY 2019-20 to ₹5.63 per unit (45%) in FY 2023-24, including tariff increase, FPPCA, true-up charges and others.

However, the Chief Minister made it clear that the restructuring of power tariff could only be done in the next financial year.

“The tariffs for the current financial year have already been fixed. Any proposal for restructuring of the tariffs would be presented in November. The proposals, with the due approval by the APERC would come into force from April 1, 2025,” Mr. Naidu said while answering a question by The Hindu.

Mr. Naidu, while expressing concern over the additional burden on domestic consumers, explained that the State government had been negotiating with the Central government for support to tide over the financial burdens. Depending on the circumstances, the Central government may take a call on it. However, the State government will ensure the quality power supply without interruption, minimising burden on the consumers,” Mr. Naidu added.

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