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After Power cuts, Delhi to face Power Tariff hike next month

After the incessant power cuts, there is now news of power tariffs in Delhi set to go up next month. The electricity regulator announced this on Friday after all distributors pushed for a hike citing increase in fuel prices. Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal also held a meeting with the power distribution companies on Friday. "There will be no relief in power tariff. Further details on this will be shared in future," said Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission Secretary Jayashree Raghuraman.

This even as Congress leaders protested at the public meeting of the DERC. The Congress has warned against any possible hike in power tariff, saying it will launch a massive agitation if the rates are increased by power regulator DERC, coming under pressure from private power distribution companies.

Senior Delhi Congress leader Mukesh Sharma said this while holding a protest at the Siri Fort Auditorium where Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission held a public hearing on reviewing the power tariff. The electricity regulator has already given indication of a hike in tariff.

"We will launch a massive agitation in the city if the electricity rates are hiked again. We will gherao the Prime Minister's residence as well as Raj Bhawan," Sharma said. He was later detained by police for violating prohibitory orders. Sharma said the BJP will be held responsible in case of any hike as the city is under central rule.

"Delhi is under central rule and BJP is the ruling party at the Centre. So BJP will be responsible for any hike in tariff," he said.

The power tariff in the city was hiked by 22 per cent in 2011 followed by five per cent hike in February 2012. The tariff was hiked by up to two per cent in May 2012 year and again by 26 per cent for domestic consumers in July 2012. The tariff was hiked by up to three per cent in February last year and again by five per cent in August last. It was hiked by up to eight per cent in January this year. Demanding a significant hike in tariff, the discoms have been arguing that cost of buying power has increased primarily on account of an increase in the input prices of raw material like coal and gas.

As per official figures, around 80-90 per cent of total revenue of discoms goes into purchasing power from central and state government owned entities through long term power purchase agreement, at rates determined by the central and state regulators. The AAP government in January had announced providing 50 per cent subsidy on power consumption up to 400 units. But the subsidy came to an end on March 31.

Source-On Request