No hike in power tariff: Sheila Dikshit

Amid a tussle between Delhi Government and regulator DERC over fixing new power tariff, Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit today made it clear that there will not be any hike in electricity rates for the current financial year.

New Delhi: Amid a tussle between Delhi
Government and regulator DERC over fixing new power tariff,
Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit today made it clear that there
will not be any hike in electricity rates for the current
financial year.

"There will be no hike in power tariff for the year
2010-11," Dikshit said while replying to a question on whether
government will endorse Delhi Electricity Regulatory
Commission`s plan to cut down the existing tariff.

Asked about DERC`s observation that the discoms had
"lied completely" and gave incorrect financial details in
their representations to government, Dikshit said she did not
think so.

"I do not think they lied to us," the chief minister
said.

Dikshit, who also looks after the power department,
has been under attack for stalling the planned announcement of
the annual power tariff for the year 2010-11 by the DERC,
apparently coming under pressure from the private distribution
companies which have been pressing for a hike in tariff.

On whether government will allow DERC to announce its
power tariff as the regulator had already filed its "statutory
advice" to the government on the entire issue and discoms`
demand for a hike, Dikshit said Chief Secretary Rakesh Mehta
was examining the DERC report.

The tussle between the DERC and the government began
after the power department, exercising a special power under
the Delhi Electricity Act, had directed the regulator on May 4
not to announce new tariff structure and asked it to submit a
report on the entire issue.

The government move had come after discoms submitted a
representation requesting it to direct the DERC to hike the
tariff.

The DERC, after receiving the government directive,
had indicated that it had planned to cut down the tariff by 20
to 25 per cent as discoms would have a surplus of around Rs
4,000 crore if the existing tariff was not tinkered with.

Dikshit said the government would not like to
intervene in the functioning of the DERC but wants the
regulator to fix tariff considering the future of power
reforms in the national capital.

"The discoms approached us with a representation and
we had just told DERC to look into their grievances before
finalising the tariff," the Chief Minister said.

In its detailed report to the government, which was
submitted last week, DERC said the three discoms were earning
an additional profit of Rs 300 crore per month due to holding
back of the announcement of the revised tariff structure by
the city government.

PTI

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