New Delhi: The BJP on Tuesday accused Chief
Minister Sheila Dikshit of siding with discoms in their demand
for hike in power tariff and said power regulator DERC should
be allowed to immediately announce the new rates for 2010-11.
In an unusual move, the city government had on May 4,
a day before the scheduled announcement of the tariff order,
directed Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission not to
announce it till the regulator gets a go-ahead from the state
"The government directed the DERC not to announce the
tariff order as the independent body was planning to cut down
the tariff by 20 per cent. The intervention was totally
unconstitutional," newly-appointed Delhi BJP chief Vijendra
Gupta told reporters.
The government intervention had come after Tata-backed
discom NDPL and Reliance Infrastructure-backed discom BSES
pleaded with the government that their demand for increasing
power tariff has not been considered by the regulator while
finalising the new tariff structure.
"The Chief Minister is more concerned about financial
position of Tatas and Reliance than that of the common man,"
The BJP leader also demanded immediate announcement of
the tariff order as decided by the regulator earlier.
The DERC, which was making last minute preparations
to announce the new tariff for the year 2010-11, 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.
In an embarrassment for the government, Solicitor
General Gopal Subramanium has held that it has no powers to
restrict the DERC from announcing its tariff order.