Mumbai: In a big relief to electricity consumers of State-run Maha Vitaran and other distributors, including BEST, Tata Power and Adani Electricity, the tariff for the next five years will not be increased.
Instead, the Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC), in separate tariff orders, has proposed an average 7 to 8 per cent reduction in tariff of these distribution companies in the state. For Maha Vitaran consumers, MERC has proposed 10 to 12 per cent tariff cut for industry, 5 to 7 per cent cut for residential consumers and 1 per cent cut for agriculture.
Maha Vitaran has a consumer base of 2.51 crore in Mumbai. For BEST, with a consumer base of over 9 lakhs, MERC has proposed 7 to 8 per cent reduction in tariffs for industry, 8 to 9 per cent cut for commercial, and 1 to 2 per cent cut for residential consumers.
For Tata Power and Adani Electricity, MERC has proposed a hefty 18 to 20 percent cut in industry tariffs, 19 to 20 per cent cut in commercial tariffs and 10 to 12 per cent cut in residential tariffs. Adani Electricity has a consumer base of over 28 lakhs, while Tata Power supplies power to 7 lakh consumers in Mumbai.
The highlight of these tariff orders is that industry and commerce have been given one of the steepest reductions; the tariff cross subsidy too has been reduced. Also, there is a tariff cut in all categories of consumers across the board and across all distribution licensees.
Further, there is a big boost for rooftop solar power projects as MERC has waived grid support charge up to cumulative capacity that reaches 2000 MW. Agriculture tariff will continue to be at 50% of average cost of supply. MERC has approved additional amounts under operation and maintenance to improve consumer services.
Maharashtra Power Minister Nitin Raut, in conversation with the Free Press Journal (FPJ), said, “Electricity consumers have received a major relief with today’s MERC tariff order. Industry consumers should cheer as the tariff will be competitive with other states.
Due to a higher tariff, industries were reluctant to invest in the state. However, with this tariff cut, the state will attract more investments.’’ He admitted that the steep reduction in tariffs is a rare case in the state since MERC was set up in 1999. MERC chairman Anand Kulkarni said the tariff reduction will boost economic development and attract new investments during the downturn.