Delhi power tariff hiked, government gives subsidy

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New Delhi, July 27: The Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC) Friday hiked the power tariff in the capital by 5 percent at a time when electricity rates have become a major election issue.

The new charges come into effect from Aug 1.

Delhi's Congress government, set to face assembly polls in November, quickly announced that it will provide concessions to households consuming up to 400 units.

This, an official statement said, would cover 84 percent of all domestic consumers.

The DERC hiked the tariff for those consuming up to 200 units -- the lowest slab -- from Rs.3.70 to Rs.3.90 per unit.

Between 200 and 400 units, the tariff rose from Rs.5.50 to Rs.5.80 a unit.

Beyond 400 and up to 800 units, the price of power will rise from Rs.6.50 to Rs.6.80 a unit.

Consumption above 800 units will cost Rs.7 per unit.

The Delhi government said it will give a subsidy of Rs.1.20 to those in the first slab. In the process, they will be charged at the existing rate of Rs.2.70 per unit of power.

The government pledged to subsidize those in the second slab 80 paise per unit, effectively bringing down the cost to Rs.5 per unit.

"The two categories were given this subsidy to take care of the poorest section and to give relief to the middle class besides encouraging consumers to conserve energy," said an official statement.

But there will be no subsidy for households consuming over 400 units.

In May 2013, the DERC hiked electricity rates by 1.5 percent to adjust the power purchase cost of distribution companies. The commission earlier hiked the power rates by 22 percent in 2011.

Friday's power hikes drew immediate condemnation from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Aam Admi Party (AAP) of Arvind Kejriwal.

The BJP has pledged to bring down power tariff by 30 percent if it wins power in Delhi. The AAP has been spearheading a focussed campaign against power rates in Delhi.

IANS

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