Power tariff hiked in Karnataka

Power tariff hiked in Karnataka

Power tariff hiked in Karnataka

Power tariffs in Karnataka have been increased by an average 32 paise per unit, with the Karnataka Electricity Regulatory Commission (KERC) today giving the green signal for it.

The increase ranges from 10 paise to 50 paise per unit as against 66 paise per unit hike asked for by the electricity supply companies (Escoms) for different categories of consumers barring irrigation pumpsets and subsidised "Bhagya Jyothi/Kuteer Jyothi" households for the poor.

The power tariff hike shock -- the sixth in the last four-and-a-half years-- comes 10 days after the bus fares for city as well as the state were increased after the April 17 Lok Sabha polls in Karnataka.

The tariff increase for domestic consumers is 20 paise per unit for monthly consumption of less than 30 units and 30 paise per unit for consumption exceeding 30 units, according to a KERC statement.

The revised tariff for domestic consumers in urban areas will be Rs 2.70 per unit for 30 units, Rs 4 per unit for consumption between 31 and 100 units, Rs 5.25 per unit for consumption between 101 and 200 units and Rs 6.25 per unit beyond 200 units per month.

For domestic consumers in rural areas, the revised rates will be Rs 2.60 per unit up to 30 units, Rs 3.70 per unit between 31 and 100 units, Rs 4.95 per unit between 101 and 200 units and Rs 5.75 per unit beyond 200 units per month.

As per the revised tariff coming into effect from May 1, commercial and industrial consumers across the state will have to bear a hike of 30 to 40 paise per unit.

According to KERC, subsidy to be borne by the State Government towards free supply of electricity to 2.13 million IP sets below 10 HP, and 2.29 million Bhagyajyothi/ Kuteerjyothi households has increased by 17.22 per cent to Rs 6,308 crore for 2014-15 from Rs 5,381 crore paid for 2013-14.

After a review of the Tariff Applications of the ESCOMs for 2014-15, the KERC has approved a total expenditure of Rs 27,860 crore for all the ESCOMs, which would be supplying about 50,097 million units, excluding transmission & distribution losses of about 18.44 per cent, during FY15.

The hike has come in for condemnation from the BJP which has organised protests tomorrow.

ASSOCHAM Southern Regional Office here however welcomed the new tariff order as a "balancing act" to increase ESCOMS efficiency.

The Commission could have well avoided any increase in tariff if the ESCOMs were operating on commercial lines. Huge outstandings of various ESCOMs as well as late release of subsidy by the State Government were responsible for gaps in revenues of power companies, J Crasta, Co-Chairman, ASSOCHAM Southern Regional Council, said.