KASSIA opposes BESCOM tariff hikes at KERC public hearing
Bengaluru, Feb 14 (KNN) Karnataka Small Scale Industries Association (KASSIA) has taken strong objection to the proposed Rs 1.58 paise per unit hike in power tariff by Bangalore Electricity Supply Company Limited (BESCOM) before the Karnataka Electricity Regulatory Commission (KERC) at the public hearing held today.
“Any hike should be within +/- 20 per cent of cost to serve as per national tariff policy as mandated by GOI way back in 2006 and BESCOM was yet to work out the cost to serve even though it should have done so by 2011,” said KASSIA.
According to observations made by Shrinath Bhandary, former energy panel chairman, and Mallappa Gowda, former co-chairman, energy panel, KASSIA, High Tension (HT) consumption has come down by 23 per cent and HT industrial consumers are moving away from BESCOM to open access which is cheaper.
KASSIA has urged for reduction in the tariff hike, as opposed to an upward revision as even Low Tension (LT) consumption has gone down and any upward tariff hike will compel such industries to shut down in the face of stiff competition in the market.
It has pointed out that the cross-subsidization of power supplied to IP sets at Rs 3.90 ps per unit as against average cost of Rs 8.17 per unit is a big burden on the other consumers and pending dues from the government installations of Rs 698.85 crore should not be passed on to the consumers and should be recovered from the government only.
Further BESCOM has not disclosed any plan for introduction of pre-paid meters as provided under Section 47(5) of the Electricity Act, 2003 and has made tardy progress in completing metering of DTCs.
Unauthorised IP sets are a drain on BESCOM and 24,874 un-authorised IP sets are yet to be regularized, of whose HP and consumption little is known, which gives scope for manipulation of their numbers of actual subsidy paid and percentage of losses, said KASSIA.
The MSME body stated that, BESCOM should have clearly indicated steps taken for improvement of efficiency since the date of previous order and earlier orders issued by the Commission indicating the efficiency gains of BESCOM, which could be ultimately transferred to the consumers proportionately.
In the absence of any specific gains the application for a tariff hike is not maintainable, opined KASSIA. (KNN Bureau)