AAP govt warns DERC against power tariff hike
According to the AAP legislators who went to argue against hike in power tariff on the first day of the public hearing, the mood of DERC was to overrule the “message” of the Delhi government to implement it till the CAG audit is complete and give a “modest” increase to private power companies.
“The government has already conveyed its message to DERC not to hike power tariff till the ongoing audit by Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India is complete. If DERC announces any hike before the completion of the audit, the Delhi government will constitute a committee to inquire into the validity and rationality of the hike,” said a senior officer of Delhi government.
“The committee will also be asked to investigate into all previous hikes in power tariffs since 2010,” he added. He further added that even after findings of former DERC chairperson Brijender Singh in 2010 that <g data-gr-id="39">discoms</g> were earning huge profits, the power tariffs were not reduced. “On the basis of the findings of DERC, Singh had tried to reduce power tariffs by 23 per cent in 2010 but coming under severe pressure from the <g data-gr-id="40">discoms</g>, the then Sheila Dikshit government ordered against reducing power tariff,” he added.
On the first date of hearing on power tariff by DERC, over a dozen AAP MLAs, RWA representatives, NGO representatives, chartered accountants and power experts participated to contest the claim of huge losses incurred by the <g data-gr-id="34">discoms</g> who are demanding a hike of up to 18 per cent in power tariff for the financial year 2014-15.
“We are demanding the commission to reject the demand of <g data-gr-id="36">discoms</g> on the ground that CAG audit is going on and the authenticity of their loss data is yet to be verified. We have moved petitions in DERC against this <g data-gr-id="45">hike</g> but the mood is towards a power tariff hike. But it may not be quite as per the <g data-gr-id="37">discoms</g>’ demands,” said Bhawana Gaud, AAP MLA from Palam. Senior AAP leader Sanjay Puri argued that the entire issue is due to <g data-gr-id="44">malice</g> of “<g data-gr-id="38">regulator</g> assets” created by DERC in 2013.
“The regulatory asset is a liability of <g data-gr-id="33">discoms</g> on power consumers which they will have to pay with interest today or tomorrow. In <g data-gr-id="31">2013</g> the regulatory asset was Rs 19,592 crore which has now increased to Rs 36,578 crore,” said Puri.