Power tariff relief unlikely this year

Despite Delhi government pushing Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC) to incorporate CAG’s findings in the tariff process, it is unlikely that the components will be incorporated in the capital’s tariff order before the next fiscal year. DERC is going to announce revised tariffs next month.

DERC sources said the Electricity Act permits only one tariff order in a financial year, and the Commission is almost ready with the current year’s tariff order. “We are closely watching the developments regarding the CAG audit report, but as the current report is still a draft and sub-judice, we cannot consider any of their findings in tariff orders yet. If the report is ready and cleared by the high court before we announce tariffs next month, then we will incorporate the findings,” said a DERC source.

The Commission ruled out the possibility of an interim tariff order based on the CAG report, saying it was not allowed in the Electricity Act. “Only orders relating to fuel surcharge and PPAC can be passed in between two tariff orders. The Act clearly states one tariff order per year,” said an official. DERC is currently studying a copy of the draft report, wherein they have been asked to confirm certain facts and figures. “Exit interviews are still to be held and the discoms still have to present their case. As far as we know, there could be changes in the draft report so there is no way we can make it a part of the tariff order yet,” said commission officials.

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