KERC likely to put off hearing on power tariff revision

KERC likely to put off hearing on power tariff revision

KERC likely to put off hearing on power tariff revision

With the Lok Sabha elections round the corner, the Karnataka Electricity Regulatory Commission (KERC) might defer the hearing of power tariff revision, which should have begun in the middle of March.

The model code of conduct is expected to come into force from the second week this month as the Lok Sabha elections are likely to be held in April and May. Considering the collision of events, the KERC says the hearing of tariff revision might be put off.

“We are absolutely unaware whether we can conduct the hearing or not when the election code of conduct is in force. A decision will be taken in this regard after seeking an opinion from the Election Commission of India,” said M R Sreenivasamurthy, Chairman, KERC.

He said an announcement in this regard will be made at the time of fixing the date of hearing, where all aspects will be considered. “It all depends on the circumstances, because right now, we are just receiving objections for the tariff revision proposal.

We have set March 10 as the last date to receive objections from consumers. Once we receive the objections, we have to announce the date of hearing. We are just focusing on receiving applications. As a normal procedure, we call for objections by giving consumers one month’s time,” said Sreenivasamurthy.

Earlier, it was believed that the electricity tariff orders will be out by the end of March. The KERC chairman had hoped that the Commission would complete the hearing and issue the tariff orders within 120 days as specified in the Electricity Act, 2003.

The Electricity Supply Companies (Escoms) had filed their tariff revision application for the year 2014-15 in December 2013, seeking an increase in the tariff by 66 paise per unit of power.

In their applications, the escoms have projected an energy supply of 62,959 million units (mu) during this year (2014-15) against 61,075 mu for 2013-14. The escoms hope to generate a revenue of Rs 27,772 crore against Rs 24,469 crore for the current year.

The Commission, for the first time during the year 2013, had allowed an extension of time limit to file the tariff revision applications until December 13, 2013. It was said the tariff orders will not be announced within the scheduled time. But the KERC chairman had said the extension of time should not be a problem. However, the elections might now delay the process.