Power co plans 5.5% tariff hike

Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Co Ltd, which supplies electricity to parts of the eastern suburbs of Mumbai, Thane, Navi Mumbai and the rest of the state, has proposed a hike in power tariff by 5.5% for residential and industrial consumers.

The power utility firm has proposed a low hike for the industry to woo it under the Make in Maharashtra initiative and prevent migration to other states. A power expert said, “Had it been more than 10%, it would have been a tariff shock.“

An MSEDCL petition for a hike for the 2016-17, 2017-18, 201819 and 2019-20 fiscal years has been admitted by the Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC) and will come up for public hearing at six locations across Maharashtra in July . One hearing is at 10 am on July 28 at Agri Koli Sanskriti Bhavan, Palm Beach Road, Sector 24 in Nerul.

MSEDCL sources said the hikes will come into effect only after the clearance by MERC.

For residential consumers, the proposed increase in tariff is 5.5% for this fiscal year, while it goes up by 9.83% for the next fiscal year. In 2018-19, the hike is proposed at 9.83%, but it lowers to 4.44% the next year.For industrial consumers, the hike is 6.55% in 2017-18 and 6.56 % in 2018-19, before it comes to 4.44% in 2019-20. The total revenue gap to be recovered through the proposal is Rs 56,372 cr.

Residents of areas where MSEDCL operates had got relief, with a 20% subsidy in bills two years ago and effectively no tariff hike last year, officials said. MSEDCL had in 2015 given an 18-40 paise concession per unit to low-end residential users, while the tariff for industrial consumers was cut by Rs 1.38 per unit. Industrialists expect a further tariff relief in the next fiscal year as they feel it could boost the Make in Maharashtra initiative.

Industrialists from the region had met state energy minister Chandrashekhar Bawankule, pleading for a tariff cut due to fear of migration.

Source : TOI