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December deadline for power tariff policy

Calcutta, June 19: The much-awaited power tariff policy, which is going to introduce a dual structure, is likely to be announced in December, according to Ashok Basu, chairman of the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC).

Under the dual tariff structure, rates for power consumption will be higher during the peak period when the demand is high and lower during the off-peak period when demand is low.

The regulator will also take a decision on issues like open access in transmission, market development, incentive for better performance, sanctity of contracts, depreciation along with terms and conditions for tariffs. The new tariff policy will be implemented from April 1, 2004.

CERC has already posted a discussion paper on the national tariff policy on the Net.

Speaking at the Merchants’ Chamber of Commerce here today, Basu said, “We are considering the views of all sections of society before finalising the tariff policy.”

He added that the Union power ministry is planning to table four major power sector policies and plans in another six to eight months in consultation with all those who will be affected by the move. This move is in line with the government’s decision to keep the power reform process going after having enacted The Electricity Act, 2003.

CERC will also finalise the guidelines on licensing norms on transmission, distribution, power trading, open access regulation and modify all existing regulations on availability-based tariff (ABT), grid code, power regulation.

In addition to the tariff policy, the power ministry will finalise the National Electricity Policy & Plan, Rural Electrification Plan and National Electricity Policy by the year-end.

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