Maharashtra govt to appeal against inflated power bills to SERC

In a bid to provide relief to the electricity consumers, who have received inflated bills for the month of June despite lockdown, the Maharashtra Energy Department on Thursday will file an appeal at the State Electricity Regulatory Commission (SERC) seeking its directions. The decision was taken on Wednesday at the meeting chaired by the Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar with SERC chairman Anand Kulkarni who is currently in New Zealand.

Energy Minister Dr Nitin Raut told Free Press Journal, ‘’ We had discussed the issue on Tuesday with the power distribution companies including the MahaVitaran, Tata Power, Adani Electricity and BrihanMumbai Electric Supply & Undertaking (BEST). Tariff determination is done by SERC. Therefore, it was decided today to file an appeal to SERC seeking its order. After the SERC issues order it will be taken up with the state cabinet at its meeting slated for next week for further course of action.’’

He informed that tariff has various components including slabs for residential consumers, wheeling charges and apart from that the electricity duty is charged by the state government.

‘’The state government is committed to provide relief to residential consumers and therefore the appeal will be made to SERC,’’ Dr Raut noted.

The Officer from the Energy Department said the power distribution companies are expected to file their affidavits on the government’s appeal. ‘’ If they propose to take a hit to give relief to the consumers, the regulator can consider it and give its ruling. In addition, the state government can act based on the Section 65 of the Electricity Act 2003 whereby it can provide subsidy from the budget to these distribution companies,’’ he noted.

He informed that the state cabinet will take a call on providing subsidy to even the private distribution companies including MahaVitaran and BEST. He pointed out the Delhi government provides subsidies to private utilities too.

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