Delhi’s power regulator questions findings of AAP expert panel
Chairman of Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission PD Sudhakar said the regulator increased tariff after considering rise in power purchase cost of the three private distribution companies, which buy 95-98 per cent of the electricity as per long-term power purchase agreement.
“The long-term power purchase agreements were finalised by the erstwhile Delhi Vidyut Board and all three <g data-gr-id="34">discoms</g> buy 95-98 <g data-gr-id="36">per cent</g> of the power as per provisions of these <g data-gr-id="35">pacts</g>,” Sudhakar said.
Sudhakar said the long-term power purchase pacts were signed by the Delhi Vidyut Board (DVB) for 25 to 35 years and <g data-gr-id="23">discoms</g>. The DVB, which used to supply electricity in Delhi, was disbanded in 2002 as part of reforms in the power sector.
Last week, a high-powered committee of former DERC chief <g data-gr-id="45">Berjinder</g> Singh, tasked by the AAP government to bring out a white paper on the Capital’s power sector, accused the regulator of failing to verify genuineness of short-term power purchase by the <g data-gr-id="46">discoms</g>.
In its report, the committee said when the tariff should have been slashed between 2011 and 2013, the DERC hiked it several times, overlooking consumers’ interests.
Under Singh’s chairmanship, the DERC had in May 2010 proposed to cut tariff by 23 <g data-gr-id="38">per cent</g>, citing healthy financial condition of the private power distribution companies but the move was stalled by the then Congress government by exercising a special power under Delhi Electricity Act.
Sudhakar said he was yet to examine the Singh committee’s report, but asserted that the short-term power purchase cost of the <g data-gr-id="32">discoms</g> is minuscule, indicating that the committee’s observation on the issue was not based on facts.
According to official data, around 80-90 <g data-gr-id="41">per cent</g> of <g data-gr-id="30">total</g> revenue of <g data-gr-id="39">discoms</g> goes into purchasing power from central and state government-owned entities through <g data-gr-id="40">long term</g> power purchase agreement at rates determined by the central and state regulators.