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Government to ask MERC not to allow over Rs. 250 cr tariff hike

The Maharashtra government will ask MERC not to allow power companies to hike electricity tariff by more than Rs. 250 crore annually.

The request will be made following the proposed hike of Rs. 1,400 crore by Reliance Energy which provides electricity to Mumbai suburbs with nearly 24 lakh consumers.

Reliance Energy has proposed an average hike of 10-12 per cent for industrial, commercial and domestic users, while for domestic consumers, the rise will be 18 per cent.

The company had sought the hike to cover its Rs. 1,400 crore revenue deficit for the last two years along with interest on infrastructure.

State Power Minister Chandrashekhar Bawankule said Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC) will take a final decision on the tariff hike soon.

“We will write to MERC to allow only Rs. 200-250 crore hike every year,” he said.

On the average hike of 8-10 per cent, which amounts to Rs. 1,639 crore, proposed by government-owned Mahavitaran, Bawankule said last year the company had levied a 20 per cent tariff hike.

But due to the Lok Sabha and Assembly elections last year, the Congress-NCP government compensated the Mahavitaran (Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited) with a subsidy of over Rs. 700 crore and hence, the people did not bear the burden of the hike.

“We will ensure that Mahavitaran hike is minimal or nothing at all this year,” he said.

Meanwhile, Tata Power has proposed to reduce its power tariff by average six per cent for its six lakh consumers, out of whom five lakh are domestic consumers.

Mahavitaran has 229 lakh consumers, including 172 lakh domestic consumers.

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