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18/01/2017 12:16pm

Kerala electricity board seeks hike in power tariff after two years

image Kerala electricity board seeks hike in power tariff after two years

Thiruvananthapuram, Jan 18 (KNN) According to the Power minister M.M. Mani government has not considered a tariff hike. His statement has come following the appeal of Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) Limited regarding the upward revision of tariffs from the Electricity Regulatory Commission on Tuesday.

N.S. Pillai, KSEBL’s director (finance) while presenting the utility’s case during the public hearing held by the ERC here on Tuesday, also argued that the Commission had seriously underestimated its revenue requirements.

According to him Centre’s guidelines prohibit region-wise purchase due to which contracting power from the southern grid is also not possible.

He also expressed the plight condition of the state as according to him, the state is suffering from the problem of electricity. “Already the southern states together have bid for 2,400 MW when the availability is just a meagre 600 MW,” Mr Pillai said.

The Plea has been based on three major arguments: one, 2016-17 had witnessed the lowest ever inflow into reservoirs; two, severe congestion in the inter-regional corridor, rendering even the evacuation of contracted power uncertain; three, as a consequence the utility will be forced to resort to costly power, at over Rs 7 per unit, from naphtha and diesel stations like NTPC Kayamkulam and Brahmapuram.

In an unprecedented move, the ERC had earlier prepared the annual revenue requirement of KSEBL for 2016-17 and 2017-18. The power purchase requirement was calculated as Rs 7,186 crore (2016-17) and Rs 7,091.09 crore (2017-18).

The KSEB director said it would be Rs 8,423.31 crore (2016-17) and Rs 7,966.95 crore (2017-18). He also said that the utility's unbridged revenue gap was double (Rs 10,791.05 crore) the ERC’s estimate of Rs 5,543 crore.

The ERC, on its part, had proposed a new tariff rate that will fetch KSEBL additional revenue of Rs 225 crore. Only BPL consumers with monthly consumption of up to 40 million units and agricultural consumers will be spared. However, the proposed hike of 3.6 to 8.7 per cent is not as harsh as in 2014 when there was a 15-70 per cent hike. (KNN)

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