It is being said that reason behind this move could be the Assembly election in the national capital, which is only a few months away. At a time when mood of the people in Delhi is in favour of the Modi-led BJP as various poll survey says, the party can't afford to displease the voters.
DERC chairperson P D Sudhakar said, "It has now been brought to the notice of the Commission that various generators including NTPC supplying power to Delhi have provided only part of the information regarding pricing of fuel and billing of power generated at their stations. "Additional information has been called for, which is expected shortly which will have a direct bearing on the PPAC claims (by the discoms)," Sudhakar added.
Asked why the additional information on pricing of fuel and cost of power production was not sought earlier, he said the DERC had increased the tariff provisionally and now it felt that the detail costing of the generating stations should have been analysed before hiking the rates. "We will take a decision on PPAC within next two weeks," said Sudhakar while claiming that decision was not revoked due to criticism from political parties.
On Thursday, the DERC had hiked rates by up to seven per cent.The regulator hiked the tariff by levying surcharge heeding to the demands of the three private power distribution companies. According to the DERC order, the hike will be 7 per cent for consumers of BSES Yamuna Power Ltd while BSES Rajdhani customers will have to shell out 4.5 per cent extra on their electricity bills.
The hike for consumers of Tata Power Delhi Distribution Ltd has been fixed at 2.5 per cent. "We have hiked the tariff to help power distribution companies recover their power purchase cost. The surcharge will be reviewed again in February," DERC chairperson P D Sudhakar told.
BJP, Congress and AAP strongly criticised the hike. Delhi BJP President Satish Upadhyay said the party will raise the issue with Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal and Lt Governor Najeeb Jung.
However, the Aam Aadmi Party said the Centre should have strongly conveyed its reservations over the hike. "The Aam Aadmi Party feels that the central government should have strongly conveyed its reservation to the DERC on the issue and should have advised the DERC against hiking the tariff. "We want to ask the Centre and the DERC what has changed since July, when they had put the surcharge on hold," the party said, promising to cut the electricity tariff by half when it comes to power.
The Congress also criticised the BJP and said it will launch an agitation against it and DERC for the electricity hike. "Congress strongly condemns the hike in power tariff and demands its rollback. We will launch a series of protest against the DERC and BJP, which is trying to benefit discoms. "I will sit on indefinite hunger strike at Mohan Garden Piple Chowk from tomorrow. I will not break my hunger strike till DERC rolls back power tariff hike," Congress DPCC chief spokesperson and senior leader Mukesh Sharma said.
While hiking the power tariff by up to 7.5 per cent for domestic consumers, the DERC in July had withdrawn Power Purchase Adjustment Cost (PPAC) of around 8 per cent till October.
The regulator had introduced PPAC in 2012 to help the private power distribution companies recover additional cost on account of increase in coal and gas prices.
Delhi gets power from a number of gas and coal-based power generation plants. The private power distribution companies, particularly, BRPL and BYPL, have been demanding significant hike in tariff, citing rise in power purchase cost.
(With inputs from PTI)