Kerala

Allowable employee strength in KSEB is 30,321: regulatory panel

The Kerala State Electricity Regulatory Commission has approved the allowable employee strength in the Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) as 30,321.

The commission's order has come on a petition filed by the KSEB requesting that the employee strength be approved as 33,296 for the purpose of reckoning the operation and maintenance expenses for the period from 2022-23 to 2026-27.

Noting that the revision would be applicable from this financial year, it has urged the KSEB to ''review the necessity of retaining the sanctioned posts'', given the advances made in smart technologies in the power sector.

For the past several years, the commission had approved a sanctioned strength of only 27,175 based on the manpower in 2008-09. Although the number of employees had crossed the 30,000 mark since then, the commission had not allowed the additional employee costs.

Employee strength of the KSEB has always been a touchy issue. Consumer groups complain that any increase would ultimately burden the ordinary consumer, as it entails higher operational expenses which ultimately would reflect in the electricity tariffs.

According to the KSEB plea, its manpower had risen by about 23.4% during the years 2008-09 to 2017-18 in line with the business growth. During 2008-09 to 2017-18, consumer strength went up about 34%, energy sales by 73%, and the number of substations by 29%.

The regulatory commission notes that its revision would be subject to the final orders of the High Court on a writ petition filed by the Kerala HT and EHT Industrial Electricity Consumers’ Association. The commission had approached the court against permitting any increase in the KSEB's employee strength. Although it had sought a stay, the court has not granted it.


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Printable version | Sep 26, 2022 10:40:54 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/allowable-employee-strength-in-kseb-is-30321-regulatory-panel/article65698413.ece