Kerala electricity regulator postpones power tariff revision again
The Kerala State Electricity Regulatory Commission (KSERC) has once again postponed the announcement of new power tariff rates. This time, the commission has cited a writ petition filed in the Kerala high court against the power tariff hike proposal as the reason for delaying it till February 28, 2017.
According to sources, the writ petition filed by consumer activist Dijo Kappan has questioned the rationale behind the commission’s move to announce a tariff increase. The Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB), which has to submit tariff petition every year did not seek an increase, nor has the government taken a stand favorable for a hike.
If the commission fails to substantiate the rationale behind its decision to suo motu fix the power tariff rate, the board is likely to suffer a huge financial loss. Though the KSEB authorities claim that their fiscal condition is not healthy, political interference and eroding professionalism are preventing them from openly arguing for a decent increase in the power tariff rate, which was last revised in 2014. The board is not filing tariff petition, following a difference of opinion with the commission on its decision to cut down the expenditure figures quoted by the board in its last tariff petition.
Since the KSEB had challenged the same in court, a new tariff petition would weaken the board’s position in the case, the board argues. However, it has expressed the wish for a decent tariff increase as a result of the proceedings initiated by the commission.