Saturday, December 23, 2000,
Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Power to cost more in Haryana
By Yoginder Gupta
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Dec 22 — Electricity consumers in Haryana are all set to get a new year gift, which will not be to their liking. The State Government(technically the power utilities) will go for an upward revision of power tariff from January.

The Haryana Electricity Regulatory Commission will tomorrow formally allow the power utilities to increase the tariff. The power utilities had filed an application for the revision of the tariff before the commission a few months ago. The Chairman of the commission, Mr V.S. Ailawadi, will announce the details of the commission’s orders at a press conference tomorrow. Before arriving at the final decision, the commission held public hearings at a number of places in Haryana and sought several clarifications from the power utilities about their functioning.

The Haryana Vidyut Prasaran Nigam(HVPN), which had filed the application for a revision in power tariff on behalf of the two distribution companies — Uttar Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam and the Dakshin Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam, had sought an increase of 11 paise per unit for the domestic consumers. For the non-domestic, HT and LT consumers, the increase per unit sought by the HVPN was 27 paise each category.

For the metered power supply to the agriculture sector, the proposed increase was 12 paise per unit, while for the unmetered supply to the agriculture sector the HVPN had proposed an increase of Rs 41 per horse power. At present the tariff for this category is Rs 65 per horse power.

According to informed sources, the commission had asked the HVPN to inquire from the state government if it would further increase the subsidy amount to the power utilities for the supply power to the agriculture sector on concessional rate of tariff or not. The commission had made it clear that if the government was not willing to increase the subsidy amount, it would have to approve a hefty increase in the tariff for the agriculture sector.

The sources say the state government has conveyed its willingness to the commission regarding the increase in the subsidy amount by another Rs 200 crore per annum. At present the state government gives Rs 412 crore per annum as subsidy on power supplied to the agriculture sector.

In view of the government assurance, the commission is believed to have reduced the HVPN proposal of an increase of Rs 41 per horse power for unmetered power supply to the agriculture sector.

The rationale behind the HVPN’s proposal for the hefty increase in the tariff for the unmetered power supply to the agriculture sector is that it will motivate the farmers to go in for the metered supply. Moreover, as part of the reform programme also, the World Bank has suggested that there should be no unmetered power supply, which often led to power theft and wastage.Back

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