Tuesday, August 14, 2001, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Haryana to reduce power rates
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 13
After decades electricity consumers in Haryana have something to cheer about. From September 1, most of the categories of consumers will have to pay less. For the other categories there is no change in the effective rates of power.

This has happened despite a marginal increase in the power tariff by the Haryana Electricty Regulatory Commission (HERC). The effective rates of power will come down because of the abolition of fuel surcharge.

For the domestic sector, the HERC has ordered an increase of 3 paise per unit for the three slabs of up to 40 units, 41 to 300 units and above 300 units. But the effective rate for the three slabs will come down from Rs 2.73 to Rs 2.63 per unit, from Rs 3.73 to Rs 3.63 per unit and from Rs 4.38 to Rs 4.28 per unit.

For the non-domestic sector, the effective rate of power will come down from Rs 4.40 per unit to Rs 4.19 per unit. For the HT industry, the effective rate will be Rs 4.09 per unit, a reduction of 20 paise per unit.

Similarly for the LT industry (up to 70 kw) the effective rate will be Rs 4.28 per unit, which will be 18 paise per unit less than the existing effective rate. There will be no change in the effective rates of the metered as well as unmetered power supplied to the agriculture sector.

For the direct irrigation tubewells and tubewell used for the augmentation canals, there will be a reduction of three paise per unit, while for the life irrigation schemes the reduction will be 11 paise per unit. The rates have also been reduced for the bulk railway traction, bulk supply, street lighting and the public water works.

The Haryana Power Utilities had applied for the approval of its annual revenue requirement (ARR) as well as tariff revision in March last. The commission approved the ARR for the current year at Rs 3488.22 crore, including a total expenditure of Rs 3519.12 crore, a reasonable return of Rs 59.03 crore. However, this does not include non-tariff income of Rs 89.93 crore.

The HERC did not accept the agricultural consumption projected by the Utilities by assuming the average daily running of a tubewell to be 5.70 hours. It felt that this estimate was “highly overstated”. It said: “In the absence of metering, the projected consumption of this category is used as a subterfuge for pilferage and loss of power due to other inefficiencies. The commission said a realistic estimate of 4.22 hours of usage per pump set would be more rational and reasonable. On this basis, the commission calculated that 3497 million units would be supplied to the agriculture sector against the utilities projection of 4121.04 million units.

Coming to the distribution losses, the HERC said it had allowed a distribution loss of 33 per cent in its last order. However, the actual distribution loss of the utilities increased to 39.95 per cent in 2000-01. In the current year, the distribution loss of 32.91 per cent had been allowed, which, it felt, was largely due to inefficiency and pilferage.

Expressing concern over the abnormally low load factor of LT industrial consumers, which comes to 2.06 hours per day, the commission said evidently, there was something wrong with metering of such consumers. It regretted that the Utilities had failed to comply with its order of conducting a survey of LT consumers through an independent agency in order to plug leakage of revenue.

The HERC also expressed concern over the delay in replacement of defective meters.

The new tariff approved by the commission would generate a total revenue of Rs 2615.02 crore, which is 0.8 per cent more than the revenue of Rs 2594.7 crore at the existing tariff levels. There will be a net revenue gap of Rs 873.20 crore. The commission said it was allowing a cross-subsidy of Rs 154.64 crore to the domestic sector and Rs 209.25 crore to the agriculture sector.

The Haryana Government had agreed to provide a subsidy of Rs 744.30 crore for the current year on account of the power supplied to the power sector. However, it will provide the balance subsidy of Rs 474.86 crore due for the previous year and a deferred subsidy of Rs 117.03 crore along with the interest accrued thereon by issuing bonds.

The commission has estimated a subsidy of Rs 763.54 crore for 2001-02.

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