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KERC taking relook at differential tariff

Written by: Staff
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Bangalore, Mar 22 (UNI) The Karntaka Electricity Regulatory Commission (KERC) will take a relook at introduction of differential tariff for various electric supply companies (ESCOMs) from this year onwards.

Though the KERC had planned to implement the proposal last year, it had given it up following widespread protests from consumers.

However, it was considering to have a relook at it, KERC Chairman K P Pandey told UNI in an interview.

He said that though differential rates were already hidden in the existing tariffs, the KERC wanted to make it more transparent.

He also warned the ESCOMs that the scope for further increasing tariff to various consumers, especially those with industrial load, was less in view of the introduction of open access scheme in a phased manner. From next month, High Tension (HT) consumers demanding over five mw would come under the purview of open access under which they could draw from supply companies which offer a lower tariff.

Though open access scheme was introduced a year ago it had received lukewarm response with only one consumer, Kalyani Group, opting for it. However, any increase in tariff could drive consumers away, he cautioned.

Mr Pandey said that already high tariff rates were leading to HT consumers looking to alternate source of energy, including captive generation on a high note. Ultimately the ESCOMs would lose consumers who pay for the power they draw.

On differential rates currently not visible in the existing tariff, he pointed out that the Bangalore Electric Supply Company (BESCOM) was not getting the subsidy from the government on irrigation pumpsets.

BESCOM was servicing nearly 1.5 lakh irrigation pumpets and deserved to get the subsidy from the government as was the case with other ESCOMs. If it received the subsidy there was every possibility of consumers getting power at lower tariff. BESCOM's share was currently distributed to other ESCOMs, he added.

For the current year, the state government had earmarked a power subsidy of Rs 1700 crore and this was expected to go upto over Rs 2,300 crore next fiscal.

UNI VK RG TS1556

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