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Sheila delivers `500-cr pre-poll power punch

Sheila delivers `500-cr pre-poll power punch
Following the issue of tariff order by Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC), raising the electricity charges for financial year 2013-14 by about five percent, the Delhi government has intervened with a huge subsidy to mitigate the effect of hike.

Earlier on Friday, burning a hole in the pockets of Delhiites, the Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC) had revised the power tariff by five per cent and the revised rates were supposed to be applicable from 1 August 2013.

Electricity rates in posh NDMC areas were supposed to go up by four per cent, while the increase of 0.5 per cent was allocated for BSES consumers and two per cent for those getting power from TPDDL, according to DERC chairman P D Sudhakar.

Announcing the new tariff structure for 2013-14 at a press conference, Sudhakar said the Commission has decided the hike the tariff by 5 per cent for domestic consumers to help the power distribution companies meet their financial constraints.

However, the Sheila Dikshit government intervened and enhanced subsidy under a slab from 0 to 200 units and introducing another subsidy under a slab from 201 to 400 units. This move would benefit about 84 per cent of domestic consumers in the national Capital. The move comes ahead of the assembly elections scheduled in coming winter and is being seen as a major pre-poll push by the Congress government in the state.

The city govt would release around Rs 550 crore to meet the fresh and enhanced subsidy. Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit stated that the consumers under 0 to 200 units would now be charged after taking into account the enhanced subsidy at the rate of Rs 2.70 per unit which is exactly same as the current tariff.

Further, she stated that the consumers coming under a slab from 201 to 400 units would now be charged after taking into account the newly introduced subsidy at the rate of `5.00 against the earlier tariff of Rs 5.50.

However,  the leader of Opposition in Delhi Assembly VK Malhotra castigated the government for another massive power tariff hike in the capital and the granting of subsidy thereafter, saying that it exposes the unholy nexus between the private power supplying companies and the chief minister Though burden of the hike would be shared by the government, the benefit would pass on to the private power distributors, he said.
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