New Delhi: For the first time since 2011, Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC) on Thursday announced no hike in power rates in the city at the end of its annual tariff determination process, prompting Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal to ascribe it to "honest politics".
Announcing the decision, DERC chairman P D Sudhakar said the regulator chose not to increase the rates taking into consideration financial condition of the discoms and views of the stake holders including consumers and the government.
The regulator, which had started the tariff revision process in February, also decided to bring parity in power charges between housing society members and regular domestic consumers. The existing slabs of consumption will now be applicable in housing societies on par with domestic consumers.
The DERC chairman also said the regulator was initiating a pension trust for around 20,000 pensioners of the erstwhile DVB.
"Congratulations Delhiites. A big relief to u. No power tariff hike. I told u it was possible. All becoz of honest politics," Kejriwal tweeted, welcoming the DERC's decision not to hike the tariff.
This is for the first time since 2011 that DERC chose not to effect any tariff hike.
"This decision has been taken by taking into account the collective views we gathered from public hearings, government and other quarters. This is also the outcome of various measures we have taken over the last four years including tariff hikes and levying of surcharges. Various issues were also provisionally decided," Sudhakar said.
Asked about the CAG audit and the draft report that indicted the discoms for alleged irregularities, Sudhakar said the matter is pending in High Court and that the commission will take into account the impact of the final report whenever it is released.
Reacting to DERC's decision, Delhi Power Minister Satyendar Jain said though the regulator has not announced any hike in tariff, the government was of the firm view that it should have been reduced.
"The government had conveyed its view to the DERC that in the wake of reported findings of the CAG in the media, which have not been disputed by any concerned party so far, the electricity tariffs should be reduced.
"The government is also of the view that the Regulatory Assets being demanded by the discoms are highly inflated and these should be completely scrapped by the DERC," he said.