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Punjab industries get ashock as power tariff goes up

Press Trust of India Chandigarh | Updated on April 10, 2013

Romila Dubey, Chairperson of Punjab State Electricity Regulatory Commission, announcing a hike of nine per cent in tariff across the State during a press conference in Chandigarh on Wednesday. — Photo: Akhilesh Kumar   -  Business Line

Power consumers in Punjab will now have to pay more with power regulator Punjab State Electricity Regulatory Commission (PSERC) today announcing average hike of 9.06 per cent in power tariff across all categories for 2013-14.

With an intention of reducing load and power cuts, Time of Day (ToD) tariff for large supply industrial category was also introduced for the first time in the State, whereby, a rebate of Re 1/unit on normal tariff would be given to the industry for consuming power during off peak hours (10 pm-6 am).

Peak load hours

The power regulator also announced hike in peak load hour exemption charges by a whopping 50 per cent, aimed at restricting power demand during peak load hours and preventing incidents such as grid failure witnessed last year.

“An average increase of 9.06 per cent in power tariff has been made for 2013-14 which will take effect from April 1 till March 31, 2014,” PSERC Chairperson Romila Dubey told reporters here today.

The maximum hike in power tariff was made in the category of ‘industry’ as the Commission raised tariff by up to 12.83 per cent for small, medium and large supply industries.

Farm sector was largely spared from a big increase in tariff as electricity rates for agricultural pumpsets category was raised by 1.67 per cent.

Asked about why meagre increase was made in power tariff for farm sector, Dubey said, “As power supply to agriculture sector is erratic. They (farmers) are not getting supply during day time. They get supply during odd hours. Therefore, there is a provision that we can have a differential tariff for this category.”

Free supply burden

Punjab government bears the entire financial burden on account of free power supply to farmers, a major vote bank.

Low hike in power tariff for agriculture sector means subsidy burden on the State exchequer would be less in current fiscal.

The subsidy for free supply to farm pumpsets consumers worked out to Rs 4,778.13 crore for 2013-14. Besides, the State Government also pays power subsidy for supplying free power up to 200 units for a month to SC domestic consumers and non-SC BPL domestic consumers.

This burden works out to Rs 829.29 crore.

Published on April 10, 2013

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