Friday, April 30, 2010

Delhiites Are Rich And Can Pay More For Power, Says CM

With electricity tariff revision a hot subject in the capital, chief minister Sheila Dikshit on Wednesday said Delhiites are ``rich enough to be able to afford to pay more for power consumption''. The tariff announcement by regulator Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC) is due any day now. However, top sources revealed there may not be a tariff hike at all except for higher slabs where people consume over 400 units.

Speculation is rife on whether the power regulator will allow the discoms a hike in consumer tariff, especially with discoms pushing largely for an increase citing higher power purchase costs and increasing financial difficulties. In a city where citizens have seen increased water tariff, hiked bus fares, subsidy withdrawal on LPG cylinders, and increased VAT on a range of items including diesel to mop up additional revenue for the government, discoms insisted that a hike in power tariff was long overdue in Delhi.

A source, however, said: ``There may not be any need for a tariff hike at all. It all depends on numbers. Discoms have been claiming a number of things that have become expensive, but the fact of the matter is that with so many power plants coming up in the city, they will have to buy expensive power only for a few short months which will be trued up and after that they will be surplus. Then discoms will be able to sell more power outside and make more profits.''

Officials added even in April, where Delhi saw power cuts largely due to Grid problems, discoms still made huge profits by selling power outside in the exchange. ``Delhi required peak power only in some durations and for the rest of the day -- by selling outside in the power exchange -- discoms made a net profit of about Rs 93 crore,'' said a senior official. Experts added that there may be a hike only in the higher slabs, so only people who consume more power would be burdened with higher bills. ``This would also help the government push for their cause of energy conservation by providing a deterrent to consumers into using power,'' said officials.


With thanks : source : Times of India

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