In civic poll mode, govt goes slow on power hike

The government is in no hurry to invoke a tariff hike.

The power utilities will now have to wait for some more time to get at least a part of the subsidy of Rs 5,499 crore, pending with the government. Moreover, the government seems to be in no hurry to implement the Karnataka Electricity Regulatory Commission (KERC) order of December 7.

Energy Minister Shobha Karandlaje told Deccan Herald that some directions of the commission cannot be implemented immediately as it needs to be examined. “For instance, the Commission has capped the power purchase to Rs 4 per unit. Who will sell power at the cost of Rs 4? I have asked the authorities to study the order and brief me about it,” she said.

Admitting that she was occupied with the ZP and TP polls, Karandlaje said the decision to implement the commission’s order has been kept in abeyance.

She said some of these directions, including the power purchase, will have to be appealed before the commission. “A decision on what needs to be appealed before the commission will be taken on Monday,” she added.

Despite the power utilities stating that they are yet to implement the power tariff order, sources in the KERC said the order comes into force from the day it was issued. “ The order clearly mentions that it will come into effect from the first reading after December 7, that is, if a meter is read on December 10, the consumer will get his power tariff after this,” said a top source here.

The KERC in its order of December 7 had hiked the power tariff for all its users. Domestic users had to face an average hike of 30 paise per unit whereas for the industry sector it’s a hike of 40 paise per unit.

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