Karnataka spared of power rate hike due to election code

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Bangalore, March 28: The people of Karnataka should thank the elections for escaping increase in electricity tariff. There is model code of conduct in force in the state with Karnataka heading for the May 5 Assembly polls. Due to this the state power regulator today withheld its tariff order that would have seen a sharp hike.

"We have decided not to issue our tariff order after we received a letter from the Election Commission of India asking us to abide by the model code of conduct," Karnataka Electricity Regulatory Commission (KERC) Chairman M R Srinivas Murthy said today.

No date has been fixed for the announcement of tariff order. The state has been facing power shortage and the shortfall in supply is almost 11 percent.

The KERC forms regulations in the state and other matters related to electricity generation, transmission and distribution. Karnataka has five independent distribution companies: Bangalore Electricity Supply Company (BESCOM), Mangalore Electricity Supply Company (MESCOM), Hubli Electricity Supply Company (HESCOM), Gulbarga Electricity Supply Company (GESCOM) and Chamundeshwari Electricity Supply Corporation Limited (CESCOM).

The five electricity supply companies (Escoms) had filed separate tariff petitions before KERC on December 10 last year seeking hike for all consumer categories, a KERC official said. The state has already witnessed four tariff hikes in the last three and a half years, starting from November 2009.

The last revision was effected in April 30, 2012 when the tariff was hiked by an average 13 paise a unit. The KERC granted a hike of 27.35 paise a unit in October 2011, 23 paise a unit in December 2010 and 34.16 paise a unit in November 2009.

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