Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray directs bureaucrats to examine Delhi model of uniform tariff
(Xinhua/Wang Kai)

Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, on Wednesday, directed the senior bureaucrats from the finance, energy and industry departments to study the Delhi model of uniform electricity tariff and how it can be replicated in Mumbai, where the average cost of supply ranges between Rs 6.50 and Rs 7 per unit. Further, the CM, at the cabinet meeting, also made a strong case for the revival of state power distribution company MahaVitaran by focusing on the recovery of pending arrears, increase in revenue realisation and, more importantly, plugging the loopholes to reduce distribution loss.

As reported by the Free Press Journal, the state Energy Minister Nitin Raut made a presentation on the energy department, especially the present state of finances of the MahaVitaran, MahaGenco and MahaTransco.

Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar suggested that the chairman and managing directors of MahaVitaran, MahaGenco and MahaTransco should be held accountable and responsible for the financial decisions instead of passing the buck on the state government. His argument was that the three companies are public limited companies and, therefore, their heads cannot escape from responsibilities, especially on financial matters.

Some ministers strongly suggested that the MahaVitaran, whose arrears have crossed Rs 70000 crore and liability is over Rs 74,000 crore, should revisit its power purchase agreement, especially with independent power producers, including Adani Power. MahaVitaran’s annual outgo towards power purchase is over Rs 47,000 crore. Ministers wanted that, when power is available on exchanges and in the market at competitive rates, why power at a higher rate from such entities should be purchased. The average cost is ranging between Rs 3.80 and Rs 4.30 per unit.

Further, the Industries Minister Subhash Desai stressed on the need for lowering the tariff charged by MahaVitaran to industry consumers, saying that it was higher compared to various states, including Gujarat, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh. Desai said the Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) through open access will purchase power from power exchanges by paying wheeling charges to MahaVitaran.

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