Escoms plan another power shock to consumer

Electricity Supply Companies (Escoms) in the State are seeking an increase in tariff by 50 paise a unit.

Sources told Deccan Herald that the Escoms are likely to submit the proposal before the Karnataka Electricity Regulatory Commission (KERC) for its approval in two or three days.

A senior official said the government had suggested that the hike in tariff be based on the price at which they purchase electricity and the revenue they generate. The Escoms are planning to submit the proposal based on the suggestion.

Indicating that the proposal could be approved, a KERC official said that the Central Electricity Authority (CEA) had ordered that the tariffs be reviewed by April every year. Such a review did not automatically lead to an increase, as lowered cost of purchase could lead to a decrease. However, said the official, there was no way power tariff be decreased in the State, given the precarious finances of the Escoms.

The tariff was increased by 28 paise per unit as recently as in October 2011.

The companies are spending thousands of crores on purchasing power, while over Rs 7,000 crore is due from the government as subsidies. Chief Minister D V Sadananda Gowda has expressed shock over this matter in a recent meeting.

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