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New Delhi, Aug. 8

The Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) today restrained power trading companies from buying electricity from other traders and directed that they can buy electricity only from generating or distribution companies.

Acting on a petition by Mr Gajendra Haldea (Advisor to the Planning Commission Deputy Chairman), the central power regulator restrained PTC India Ltd from buying power from Gridco of Orissa. CERC also terminated all other contracts of PTC with other electricity traders, saying these contracts were in contravention of its Inter-State Trading Regulations.

A trade agreement necessarily excludes traders from selling electricity to other traders, CERC said in a release. The Commission agreed with Mr Haldea's contention that the prices of electricity can be artificially jacked up by two or more traders joining hands.

However, in order to avoid any uncertainty or dislocation of the existing trading agreement, the Commission has ordered that the distribution utilities buying power from PTC India, sourced from Gridco or other such similar entity, should enter into agreements with them latest by August 22. In case the distribution utilities concerned exercise the above transfer option, the Regional Load Dispatch Centres would transfer the transmission corridors booked by PTC in the name of the distribution utilities concerned, the Commission said in its order.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated August 9, 2006)
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