Power companies of state have submitted tariff petition for the year 2019-20 with the Madhya Pradesh Electricity Regulatory Commission to raise tariff by 1.5%. The decision is expected in the month of June. Power companies were not allowed to make any hike in the tariff in 2018 and continued with the tariff of year 2017-18. These rates were effective till March 2019. New tariff was to be implemented from April this year but regulatory commission could not decide on the petition despite the power petition being filed in the month of March.
Power distribution companies have been pressing for hike after which the power management company asked them to continue with previous tariff for two more months as the decision on power tariff is expected in June. Power companies are citing losses and demanding immediate need for tariff revision. Though power companies had hiked electricity rates in the year 2015, 2016 and 2017 but owing to assembly elections, electricity rates were not allowed to increase in 2018. After change of regime, Congress too didn’t allow tariff as Lok Sabha elections were just round the corner.
FCA increase; a way out
Power companies in Madhya Pradesh were not allowed to increase tariff by subsequent governments, first owing to state assembly elections and then the Lok Sabha polls. But the power companies have found out an alternative way to deal with the problem and kept increasing FCA (Fuel Cost Adjustment) every quarter. The increase in tariff is 15 Paisa per unit compared to same quarter last year. Companies can make some increase in tariff with revision of rates of fuel.
‘Govt schemes caused severe financial stress on Discoms’
An official requesting anonymity said that tariff hike is inevitable as Sambal scheme of previous BJP government had put severe financial stress on power distribution companies (Discoms). Even the Congress government has come up with similar scheme for the deprived section where consumer pays Rs 200 per month as monthly electricity bill. Current dispensation is unable to pay subsidy amount to the power companies.
FCA in financial year 2018-19
- 1st quarter April-June – 3 Paisa
- 2nd quarter July-September – 2 Paisa
- 3rd quarter October- December – 19 Paisa
- 4th quarter January-March – 17 Paisa
- 1st quarter of new financial year April-June 18 Paisa