Consumers will feel the pinch as the power regulator in Punjab has decided to jack up the tariff by 2.14%.
As per the order passed by Punjab State Electricity Regulatory Commission chairperson Kusumjit Sidhu, the power cost has been increased by 8 to 10 paise per unit across categories of consumers. Fixed charges for all category of consumers have also been increased by Rs 10 per KW with effect from June 1.
The hike will help the power department to generate additional Rs 564 crore. In real, the effective annual hike is 1.78 %, but as the PSERC has decided to do away with the policy of collecting arrears, it has passed an order to collect Rs 564 in next nine months, which makes the effective hike as 2.14 %. The average cost of supply has been worked out @ 6.629 per unit.
The PSERC has also given relief to industry by extending special tariff hours of large and medium industry from 10 pm to 10 am. PSPCL provides 50% subsidy on fixed charges and discounted tariff of Rs 4.45 per KWH in the lean hours to the industry. The gross revenue requirement has been assessed at Rs 32,757 crore and there is a cumulative gap of Rs 497 crore between revenue receipt and expenditure. The PSERC has also decreased the power rate of rural water supply schemes.
The state foots the bill of free power to farmers and and subsidised supply to the industry. Roughly, the burden on consumers is Rs 150 crore, and the rest is borne by the government.
The current hike is set to dent the government coffers as to fulfil the political promises of free power to agriculture sector, schedule caste and BPL families and susbidised power at Rs 4.99 paise per unit supply to industry, the additional cost this fiscal would be Rs 14,972 crore.
May 28, 2019 00:30 IST
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