Monday, 30th October 2017

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Power tariff hike pleas turned down

The Bengal power regulator has belatedly turned down requests from the state-run distributor and CESC to raise the tariff for the last financial year.

By Meghdeep Bhattacharyya in Calcutta
  • Published 6.07.18
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Calcutta: The Bengal power regulator has belatedly turned down requests from the state-run distributor and CESC to raise the tariff for the last financial year.

The West Bengal State Electricity Distribution Company Ltd (WBSEDCL) had sought an 8.15 per cent increase while CESC had asked for a 14.91 per cent increase, said sources in the West Bengal Electricity Regulatory Commission.

Some state government officials linked the decision to the upcoming general election although, on paper, the commission acts independently of the executive.

The commission issued the delayed tariff order covering 2017-18 on Thursday.

"After a thorough review, we have taken a decision against increasing the 2017-18 tariff, keeping the interests of the consumers in mind," commission chairman R.N. Sen said later.

Following the decision, the average per unit tariff in CESC-served areas - Calcutta, Howrah and their neighbourhood - remains at Rs 7.31, while that in areas served by the state-run distributor stays at Rs 7.12.

"The decision was taken despite immense pressure from the big utilities to enforce an upward revision in the wake of rising costs.... They were advised to cut costs by improving efficiency," Sen said.

Officials of neither utility offered comment on the decision.