State electricity regulator MERC has decided to undertake third-party verification of agricultural sales to get an accurate assessment of agricultural consumption in Maharashtra.
It will take at least a year to complete the assessment as the regulator will have to consider the sales of different agricultural seasons as the energy requirements may differ, according to Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC) member Mukesh Khullar.
“We feel there are discrepancies in the data received on agricultural sales from state discom MSEDCL. To ensure accurate assessment of such sales, we have decided to set up a committee which will undertake third-party verification,” Khullar said at an interactive session organised by the Mumbai Press Club.
“We hope that the report will be completed by March 2020,” he said.
When asked about the need for another committee to conduct the same study, which was done by MSEDCL in the past on the directives of the MERC through an expert committee of IIT Bombay, Khullar said, “The discom has not submitted the report yet. Nonetheless, we felt that there is a need to commission a study directly under the aegis of the MERC.” He further said that such an independent study will bring in more transparency, define the scope accurately and make the sales estimation more robust.
Khullar further explained that the methodology finalised through this study will form the basis for approval of agricultural sales during truing up exercise to be carried out at the end of the third control period and for years FY15 to FY17.
However, since the true-up of these years is already over, except for the assessment of AG sales and corresponding revision in the distribution loss thereof if any, he said the revision of revenue gap, whether over-recovery or under-recovery, shall be undertaken only in terms of sharing of distribution loss.
“This will then come into effect from April 1, 2020,” added Khullar.