ELECTRICITY consumers in Punjab would have to shell out more for power as the Punjab State Electricity Regulatory Commission (PSERC) on Wednesday passed an order increasing the power tariff by 7-12% for various categories of consumers, including the agricultural sector, from 1st September. PSERC will be able to generate an additional revenue of Rs 423 crore due to the revised tariff in the current financial year. For the domestic sector, the increase will be 8.4%, for the agriculture sector it is 12% and for all other categories the hike is 7%, according to PSERC chairman Jai Singh Gill.
Giving further detail Mr Gill said for the domestic consumers, the tariff had been hiked from the existing 221 paise per kilowatt-hour to 240 paise while for agricultural pumpsets, the rate has been raised from the existing 214 paise per kilowatt-hour in a month to 240 paise. Similarly, for the small-scale industries the tariff will now be 361 paise per kilowatt-hour from 337 paise per kilowatt-hour. Tariff for both medium and large-scale industry have been increased from 372 paise per kilowatthour to 398 paise per kilowatt-hour.
The annual revenue requirement (ARR) of Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) for the year 2007-08 has been determined at Rs 9,616.89 crore as against Rs 11, 861.05 crore proposed by the board. The revenue gap for the year 2007-08 has been worked out at Rs 87.21 crore as against Rs 2,423.11 crore proposed by the board, according to data available.
“There is an overall revenue deficit of Rs 423.78 crore after combining the effects of true up exercise for the year 2005-06, review of ARR for the year 2006-07 and the revenue gap of Rs 87.21 crore for the year 2007-08, which is proposed to be covered by the increase in the tariff,” said Mr Gill. He said that the combined average cost of supply for the year 2007-08 works out to 343.99 paise per unit as against 329.94 paise per unit last year. “For 2007-08, as per the amended regulations the surcharge would be nil,” he added.
Gill said the total amount of government subsidy for free power supply to farmers in the current year worked out to be Rs 1,988.15 crore. Besides, the state government had committed to pay Rs 130.95 crore for free supply of 200 units per month to domestic consumers hailing from s c h e d u l e d castes (SC) and non-SC BPL category with a connected load up to 1,000 watts.
He said that the state government had also committed to pay the balance subsidy amounting to Rs 421.99 crore for the year 2006-07.
Gill, however, said the captive power plants have been exempted from the payment of Parallel Operation Charges, which were payable every month at the rate of Rs 200 per kilo vatt ampere (KVA) on five per cent of the plant capacity.
Listing the hiked rates, Gill said that the big general industries have to pay a tariff of Rs 398 paise per kilowatt hour, against the existing 372 paise per kilowatt hour. The tariff for medium industries has been hiked from existing 372 paise per kilowatt hour to 398 paise.
He said that religious places like Golden Temple at Amritsar will get free power supply for the first 2,000 units, but for usage beyond the prescribed limit, the tariff has been hiked from 301 paise per kilowatt hour to 322 paise.