Debate intensifies ahead of hearing on power tariff hike

Aurangabad: Ahead of the regional public hearing of the Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC) on proposed increase in power tariff here on Monday, both the Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited and the consumers are pushing their points.

In a petition submitted before for the MERC, the MSEDCL has sought 5.5% increase in tariff for a period between 2016-17 and 2019-20. Senior power utility officials said the MSEDCL would incur losses to the tune of Rs 56,594 crore over a period of three years if charges are not revised.

“The average annual rate of inflation in the past few years is around 6% and, naturally, the expenditure of the MSEDCL is also rising due to escalation in costs. So, it is very much essential to increase the tariff. Otherwise, the financial condition of the power utility may deteriorate further and may impact the distribution network and, in turn, adversely affect services,” a senior official said.

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