Pay more for power in punjab


Staff member

Chandigarh July 5:
The Punjab State Electricity Regulatory Commission (PSERC) today affected a nominal increase in the tariff for both domestic and industrial consumers even as it came down on the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) on the issue of interest charges on loans taken by it.
Announcing the tariff order here, PSERC chairman Jai Singh Gill said the annual revenue requirement of the board for 2008-09 had been determined at Rs 11,174.97 crore against Rs 13,855.28 crore projected by the board. He said the revenue surplus for the current year had been worked out as Rs 468.14 crore against a deficit of Rs 21,115.36 crore projected by the board.
However, it has calculated an overall deficit of Rs 249.64 crore after combining the effects of true-up exercise for 2006-07, review of the annual revenue receipts for 2007-08 and the revenue surplus of Rs 468.14 crore for 2008-09. This deficit is proposed to be recovered by nominal increase in tariff to be affected by the board with effect from April 1.
The commission has increased the tariff rates for first slab of domestic supply consumers by 3.4 per cent, for agricultural supply consumers by 4.8 per cent and for all other categories by 2 per cent. In monetary terms, this means an increase of eight paisa for domestic as well as industrial consumers. Tariff for agricultural pump sets has been increased by eleven paisa but the Punjab government will pay this amount, as the board does not charge this category of consumers.
The commission has calculated the total amount of government subsidy for free supply to agricultural pump sets consumers for the current year as Rs 2264.92 crore. The Punjab government has committed to pay this as well as Rs 214.84 crore worth of electricity supplied to Scheduled Caste as well as below-poverty-line consumers to the PSEB.
The state government will also pay the PSEB the balance subsidy and interest due on late payment amounting to Rs 121.97 crore. The total subsidy amount works out to Rs 2,601.73 crore. The PSERC has come down hard on the PSEB on the issue of interest charges on loans taken by it. Against interest charges of Rs 1,394 crore proposed by the board, the commission approved only Rs 869 crore.