Power ministry drops tariff policy adherence after ERCs’ cavil
The Union ministry of power has dropped its proposal of making tariff mandatory in the amendment to the tariff policy after it was objected to by the electricity regulators.
The forum of regulators (FOR), a representative body of the electricity regulatory commissions (ERCs), had clearly told the ministry that it was a case of excessive delegation and arrogates to the central government powers that override even the provisions of the Electricity Act, 2003.
Now the ministry has softened its stand with regard to the mandatory adherence to tariff policy keeping in view India’s federal structure. SERCs are free to determine tariff as per their regulations provided they give reasons for departing from the national tariff policy.
FOR member, who did not want to be quoted, told Business Standard” FOR felt that the existing provision of the Electricity Act, providing that the Central Commission and State Commissions, shall be “guided by” the National Electricity Policy, the National Electricity Plan and the Tariff Policy, is adequate and in line with the spirit of distancing Government and extending desired flexibility and freedom to the Electricity Regulators in discharge of its statutory functions. These provisions, therefore, the Forum felt, do not require any change.”