Monday, 30th October 2017

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Power set to get dearer from April

Tata Steel proposes a 2 per cent hike in domestic and commercial tariff of electricity after JSERC recommendation

By Our Special Correspondent in Jamshedpur
  • Published 18.01.20, 1:01 AM
  • Updated 18.01.20, 1:01 AM
  • a min read
  •  
JSERC chairperson Arbind Prasad (centre) at the public hearing in Tube Maker’s Club in Jamshedpur on Friday Pictures by Bhola Prasad

The state electricity regulatory commission on Friday asked Tata Steel to hike power tariffs from the next financial year (2020-21).

Chairing a public hearing at Tube Maker’s Club on the power tariff hike petition filed by Tata Steel for its distribution area (Jamshedpur town) to meet its annual revenue requirement for 2019-20, chairperson of Jharkhand State Electricity Regulatory Commission (JSERC) Arbind Prasad said the tariff should be hiked from April 1, 2020.

“There is no point in raising the power rate at the moment as only a few months are left for the new financial year. I would ask Tata Steel to raise the tariff from April 1,” Prasad said, refusing to heed Tata Steel’s plea that that the decision would widen the company’s revenue gap in this fiscal.

In his presentation before the commission, general manager (power division) of Tata Steel Utilities and Infrastructure Services Limited (formerly Jusco) V.P. Singh had explained why it was necessary to raise the tariff this fiscal itself.

The audience at the meeting.
The audience at the meeting.

“Or else, it will lead to a further increase in the revenue gap and a one-time hike in power tariff to bridge that gap will put more burden on consumers,” Singh had said.

Tata Steel, which supplies electricity to around 50,000 consumers in its command areas (employees) and nearby urban slums, had proposed a 2 per cent hike in domestic and commercial tariff.

After hearing the views of consumers both in favour and against the tariff hike, the commission chairperson, said: “There is no doubt that quality of power supply by Tata Steel is very good and even the power tariff is not much. However, it should focus on strengthening supply and distribution so that there is no power waste and also reduce the revenue gap.”

Prasad was, however, surprised at the discrepancy in figures in Tata Steel’s power tariff petition and asked it to submit a fresh list after correcting the anomaly.

The chairperson also asked Tata Steel to explore ways of obtaining electricity from companies other than Tata Power.

“Cost of electricity from Tata Power is quite high and Tata Steel should explore ways of obtaining power from other agencies to mitigate the rising revenue gap,” Prasad said.