Appellate Tribunal sets aside impugned MERC order

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Mumbai, Sep 28 (UNI) The Appellate Tribunal for Electricity has recently set aside the Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC) order that mandated Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Ccompany Ltd (MSEDCL) to bear the losses approximately to the tune of Rs 88 crore.

The said order of MERC had directed MSEDCL to bear the loss in case of under recovery amounts in view of the delay in submitting the Annual Revenue Return (ARR), according to a MSEDCL release issued here today.

Aggrieved by this order and unable to sustain the same financially, MSEDCL had filed an appeal in the Appellate Tribunal requesting it to set aside the said MERC order.

While hearing the appeal, the Appellate Tribunal was informed by MSEDCL that in view of various reasons including the Multi Year Tariff (MYT) filed for the first time, there were many complex issues which needed to be addressed and many new concepts had been introduced in the earlier tariff order of which cognizance was required to be taken and so the ARR could not be filed in time.

Further, MSEDCL had also requested MERC to permit refund or recovery from the consumers based on the new tariff as the case may be, which was not accepted by MERC.

While deciding on this request of MSEDCL, MERC had ruled that under recovery, if any, will have to be borne by MSEDCL whereas in case of any over recovery the same will have to be refunded.

This would have severely affected the commercial viability of MSEDCL and hence an appeal was preferred.

The Appellate Tribunal has passed an order dated September 19, 2007 and has set aside the impugned MERC order with further directions to MERC to pass appropriate orders making it possible for MSEDCL to recover the amount denied to it.

Further, the Appellate Tribunal has observed, while passing the order, that in any case one month's delay in filing the petition would not have altered the tariff.

Further, the Appellate Tribunal has also observed that the Electricity Act 2003, mandates safeguarding the interest of the consumers and also recovery of the cost of electricity in reasonable manner and since there is no additional burden on the consumers, the order of MERC indicates misplaced sympathy.

Thus, MSEDCL has got relief from Appellate Tribunal on the principle of recovery of legitimate charges that are allowed by the Electricity Act 2003, the release added.

UNI

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