With parliamentary polls round the corner, it looks as if political power seekers are adopting electric power as the mascot for vote-catching. AAP Government started this by announcing a power tariff reduction of 50 per cent for Delhi residents using up to 400 units per month. The subsidy burden could be about Rs.250 crore for a full year. Simultaneously, it ordered the auditing of the books of private power distribution companies (discoms) by the Comptroller & Auditor General, and the audit has commenced since then. Though the former could be termed populist, the latter appears to be an attempt to ascertain the actual cost of supply of electricity and the kind of tariff setting that has been taking place ever since the State Electricity Regulatory Commissions (SERCs) have been assigned this role under the Electricity Act 2003. This is a laudable step.
Within days, the ‘agitation’ for lower power tariff spread to the neighbouring state with Haryana Bijli Andolan Sangharsh Samiti demanding tariff of Rs.2.50 per unit for domestic and Rs.3 per unit for commercial consumers who have their bimonthly consumption up to 1,500 units. Read More
By M. G. DEVASAHAYAM