State to give subsidy of Rs 4,156 cr for free power to farmers for 2011-12.
Despite the protests against the hike in power tariff from various quarters, including chambers of industry among others, the Karnataka Electricity Regulatory Commission (KERC) on Friday approved a rise of an average 27.35 paise per unit on power used by all types of consumers in the state.
The revision in electricity tariff is for 2011-12. The revised tariff will be applicable to electricity consumed from the first meter reading date on or after October 28, 2011.
The five distribution companies like Bescom, Mescom, CESC, Hescom and Gescom had filed applications for approval of their Annual Revenue Requirement (ARR) and revision of tariff for FY12, on June 15, 2011.
The average tariff increase varies according to the different categories of consumers. This is against the 88 paise increase sought by the electricity supply companies (Escoms) uniformly for all the categories of consumers, other than IP set users and Bhagya Jyothi and Kuteer Jyothi beneficiaries. The lowest tariff increase of 10 paise per unit is approved for domestic consumers up to 30 units consumption per month in urban areas and 100 units per month in rural areas, while the domestic consumers have to pay 50 paise more per unit for more than 200 units of consumption per month.
The electricity tariff for household consumption in urban areas is increased from Rs 2.10 to Rs 2.20 per unit for consumption up to 30 units, from Rs 2.20 to Rs 2.40 per unit for consumption between 30 units and 100 units, from Rs 3.20 to Rs 3.50 per unit for consumption between 100 units and 200 units, from Rs 4,50 to Rs 5 per unit for consumption between 200 to 300 units and from Rs 5 to Rs 5.50 per unit for consumption beyond 300 units per month.
The household consumers in the rural areas will pay between Rs 2.10 and Rs 5 per unit in different slabs of consumption, with only 10 paise per unit increase for consumption up to 100 units per month.
The tariff for irrigation pumpsets above 10 HP, private horticulture nurseries, and coffee and tea plantations has been increased by 0.15 paise from Rs 1.25 to Rs 1.40. The KERC has not increased the tariff for water supply works, both in urban and rural areas. Similarly, the tariff for railway traction and effluent plants also remains unchanged for the current year.
The LT commercial tariff in urban areas has been increased from Rs 5.60 to Rs 6 per unit for the first 50 units and from Rs 6.80 to Rs 7 per unit for consumption beyond 50 units. In the rural areas, the new rates will be Rs 5.40 and Rs 6.40 per unit, respectively, with an increase of only 10 paise per unit.
For the LT industrial units, the tariff has been increased from the earlier rates ranging from Rs 3.60 to Rs 4.70 per unit in Bangalore to the new rates ranging from Rs 4 to Rs 5 per unit. In other areas, the new tariff ranges from Rs 4 to Rs 4.80 per unit. For the HT industrial users, the tariff has gone up by a uniform 30 paise per unit over the existing rates of Rs 4.60 and Rs 5 per unit to Rs 4.90 and Rs 5.30 per unit.
The amount of subsidy to be paid by the government towards free supply of electricity to the farmers with IP sets below 10 HP and Bhagyajyothi/ Kutirjyothi households is increased to Rs 4,156 crore for the present year from Rs 3,577 crore paid for 2010-11, showing an increase of 16 per cent.
On a detailed review of the performance of the Escoms during the financial year 2010-11, the KERC has approved a total expenditure of Rs 17,036.35 crore for all the Escoms which have together sold 37,102 million units during the year. The Escoms will increase the supply of electricity during the present year to 42,376 million units from 37,102 million units supplied last year. The Bangalore Electricity Supply Company (Bescom) accounts for more than 50 per cent of the energy supplied at 21,911 million units, at a cost of Rs 10,407 crore.
The regulatory asset of Rs 437.84 crore reserved for FY 2012 in the Commission’s Tariff Order dated December 7, 2010, has been absorbed in the tariff approved and Rs 401 crore reserved for FY 2013 remains unchanged for being recovered next year.
Recovery of arrears
The commission has noted that as at the end of March, 2011, the arrears of electricity charges to be collected by different Escoms amount to over Rs 7,065 crore, including Rs 4,019 crore due from users of irrigation pump sets (arrears, mainly for the period prior to 2008) and Rs 1,832 crore due from gram panchayats. The commission has directed the Escoms to chalk out a plan for realising at least 1/3rd of the outstanding dues every year, over the next three years.