Devendra Fadnavis hints at lower power tariffs for industries

0
36

To attract investments, Maharashtra government is developing a blueprint to rationalise power tariff for industrial consumers as rates for them are “significantly high”, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said.

Currently, out of the over 2.20 crore consumers of the state utility Mahavitaran, 1.99 per cent or about 4.38 lakh are industrial customers with consumption of 31,352.44 million units. Mahavitaran charges them Rs. 8 – 8.50 per unit.

“Currently, the tariffs for industrial consumers are significantly high. If we have to attract industries to the state, we will have to develop a mechanism to rationalise these tariffs,” Fadnavis said after a meeting.

“Despite being a smaller ratio among the total customers on our network, they are the largest consumers in terms of consumption. We will have to rationalise the tariffs keeping in mind that it has a customer base of 1.5 crore who consume less than 100 units and the burden cannot be passed on to industries alone,” he said.

The state provides subsidy to Mahavitaran which in-turn subsidises its low-end consumers, including farmers, who form a large part of its customer base.

Currently, Mahavitaran has 1.62 crore residential and 36.67 lakh agricultural consumers, among others.

Asked about the quantum of tariff reduction that the government is proposing for industrial consumers, the Chief Minister said, “We cannot take a decision on how much it should be. We are preparing a road-map to rationalise the power tariffs. We will soon go to the electricity regulator MERC with this proposal. But our intention is to reduce the tariffs to an extent where we will not have to subsidise Mahavitaran nor force it to pass on the burden to the low-end consumers.”

Fadnavis also said he is in talks with the Coal Ministry to ensure adequate supply of coal for power projects in the state.

“Currently, we get 20 lakh tonnes of coal from various sources. But our demand is going to increase in the days to come. We have requested the Coal Ministry to ensure that we get more fuel as we are setting up new projects. Besides, we have also requested them to evaluate the feasibility of setting up power projects at pit-heads which will result in reduction in transportation cost and in-turn the overall generation cost,” he said, adding, “we want to increase our efficiency in generation and distribution.”