CSIA asks Industry and commerce to fight against MSEDCL

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Thane, Sep 30:  The President of the Chamber of Small Industry Associations (CSIA) M R Khambete today called upon the Industry&Commerce in the country to fight the 'injustice' meted out to them by Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited (MSEDCL).

Addressing a news conference here, Khambete said the Mahavitaran has refused to refund Rs.3000 crore to industries&commerce collected as Regulatory Liability Charges (RLC) Charges.

Mahavitaran has received Rs.3000 crore from industries&commerce over a period of four years towards Regulatory Liability Charges (RLC). Mahavitaran has moved MERC for review of its order, Mr Khambete said.

MERC had directed that first set of approximately Rs 500 crore be refunded to these consumers from September to March 2007 through their electricity bills.

MERC introduced T&D loss charges on consumers towards 3 per cent additional loss, which was not brought down. This charge was 30 paise extra per unit. In the year 2003, MSEB claimed that their losses are 39 per cent. On this issue there was a high degree of hue and cry, because losses had gone up. As such the money towards higher losses was not their rightful money, he said.

It directed that able consumers should give money in the form of loan to keep MSEB going.

The able consumers meaning Industry&commerce started paying 50 paise per unit more from 2003-04. This was known as RLC charges which was not a tariff but a loan given by consumers to the MSEB for them to survive. This amount is approximately Rs 3000 crore, he added.

Khambete said that it was in August 2007 MERC gave a directive to refund Rs.500 crore towards the first instalment of RLC charges collected. MSEDCL has moved MERC for review of this order. MSEDCL feels that this is not a loan but a part of tariff. Hence the question of refund does not arise. They have also stated that the benefit of reduction in T&D Loss has already been passed on to the consumers. Also they feel MERC is not giving due credit regarding the efforts towards T&D loss reduction, theft reduction and improvement in the infrastructure.

The industry and commerce should come together to fight injustice being done to them by MSEDCL, he added.

UNI

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