irrigation/ Representative pic
irrigation/ Representative pic

Bhopal: Madhya Pradesh Electricity Regulatory Commission (MPERC) has got into controversy with the recent hike in electricity tariff of agriculture consumers. Activists have objection over MPERC’s decision that they claim was made on the basis of a letter written by Energy Department.

The MPERC in its decision on petition by the power DISCOMs has also mentioned it. The Retail Supply Tariff Order 2020-21 describing the agriculture flat rate for consumers mentions about the government order in ‘Terms and Conditions’ on page 227.

The MPERC cites ‘Energy department GoMP vide letter no. 8523/F-3-10/2020/13 dated 15.12.2020 has conveyed that the flat rate agriculture consumers having load up to 10 HP will pay Rs 750/ per HP per annum and flat rate agriculture consumers having load more than 10 HP will pay Rs 1500 per HP per annum in two six monthly equal installments.’

Agriculture consumers were earlier paying Rs 700 per HP per annum before revision of electricity tariff. The tariff hike for them was made to the tune of 7%.

Activists working in the power sector have objected to the decision made by the power regulatory commission on the basis of letter from government. ‘The MPERC is an independent body and it has nothing to do with the government. Moreover, government never becomes party in issues related to decision on power tariff,’ said Rajendra Agarwal, retired employee from Energy Department and now playing the role of activist and whistleblower.

The basic principle on deciding on revision of tariff is that the power companies submit a proposal and MPERC takes decision on it. The power company did not plead for hike in tariff for agriculture consumers but the MPERC did it on the basis of letter from the government. This is not correct and setting a bad precedent, added Agarwal.

The media statement sent by the regulatory commission also mentioned it saying, ‘taking into account subsidy given by the state government for agriculture category consumers having load up to 10 HP shall be billed at the rate of Rs 750…’

Some farmer organizations have also taken cognizance of the step taken by the MPERC and are planning to approach the court.

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