DERC should take everybody on board in deciding tariff: Dikshit



New Delhi: Sending a strong message to power regulator DERC to consider demands of the discoms to hike tariff, Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit on Friday said everybody has to be taken on board while finalising new electricity rates in the city.

"I told DERC to take everybody on board in deciding the new tariff. We told them to take everything into consideration," she said.

Asked whether the government is opposed to cutting down the tariff as indicated by the regulator, Dikshit said genuine grievances of the private distribution companies will have to be addressed by the DERC.

Appearing sympathetic to discoms' demand for a hike in tariff, the Chief Minister said the DERC should take into consideration possible increase in cost of power procured from gas-based power plants following Centre's decision to hike price of natural gas.

"Price of power is going up. The discoms also buy power through power exchanges. The rates go up and down. All these points will have to be factored in," she said.

Delhi government on May 4 had forced Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC) not to announce the tariff order apparently coming under pressure from the three private power distribution companies which had complained that their demand for increasing power tariff has not been considered by the regulator while finalising the new tariff structure.

On BJP's allegations that Government is supportive of the discoms' demand for hike in tariff, Dikshit said the government was only concerned about future of power reform in the city.

"If tariff can be slashed without disturbing the future of the power reform, then we will not have any problem with it. How can a government be opposed to a decision if it benefits the common man," she said.

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.

The government had issued the directive to the DERC exercising a special power under the Delhi Electricity Act.

Accusing Delhi government of being "hand-in-glove" with power distribution companies for favouring hike in power tariff, BJP had yesterday demanded a CBI probe into the issue and 20 per cent reduction in prevailing rates.

PTI