Bhopal: Chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan may have announced electricity rates for rural consumers keeping in view the assembly elections to be held in the state this year, but it will not be easy for state energy department to execute it.
A presentation on the modalities of issuing electricity bills of Rs 200, Rs 300 and Rs 400 for rural consumers and urban consumers who come under BPL category was recently made before chief minister. Chouhan intends to execute it as early as possible.
Energy department, in order to execute CM’s announcement, may work out rates through options like Samadhan Yojana, government subsidy and fixing new power tariffs. In the presentation made before Chouhan, it was suggested that minimum electricity bill will be of Rs 200 under Samadhan Yojana.
If the government sets power tariffs at flat rates, then power companies have to give subsidy. If this does not work, then the government is left with option of power companies approaching power regulatory commission with the proposal.
Madhya Electricity Regulatory Commission (MPERC) fixes the power tariffs in state. If government makes any changes in the tariffs, then the government will have to pay for the loss to electricity distribution companies. Commission’s secretary Shailendra Saxena said that MPERC has not received any proposal regarding changes in power tariffs.
According to sources, the energy department has sought information from all three power distribution companies about the burden falling on them if changes in power tariffs are made. A senior officer in department said that all options are being considered. He said a meeting is scheduled with the CM after which decision will be made.