Further hike in power tariff possible: Delhi CM

Last Updated: Monday, October 24, 2011 - 19:56

New Delhi: Notwithstanding last month`s 22
per cent hike in power tariff, Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit
on Monday gave a strong indication of another increase, saying
cost of power procurement has gone up significantly.

Justifying the demands by private power distribution
companies to further hike the tariff, Dikshit said the rates
in Delhi were much lower compared to most of the other states.

Asked specifically whether she was indicating that the
tariff will go up, Dikshit said: "There could be. Yes,
certainly."

After announcing the hike in tariff September, which came
into effect from September 1, the Delhi Electricity
Regulatory Commission (DERC) had dropped strong indication
that there could be a further hike early next year.

The discoms, not satisfied with the hike, have demanded
further increase to sustain their operations. Earlier, they
had been demanding a 60 per cent increase in tariff.

Asked about Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee`s comment
at the National Development Council meeting that states should
raise power tariff as distribution companies are facing
financial difficulty, Dikshit said the statement reflected the
the real situation.

"The Centre has also admitted the reality. No government
would like to increase the burden on the people. But we will
have to understand the situation. People will have to
understand that cost of power has gone up," Dikshit said.

Addressing the NDC meeting, Mukherjee had said that
"states will have to review and revise the tariffs regularly"
to ensure the financial health of the distribution companies.

Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh
Ahluwalia, echoing similar view, said some of the distribution
firms have not raised tariffs for 10 years and their total
losses are estimated to be Rs 70,000 crore.

PTI



First Published: Monday, October 24, 2011 - 19:56

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