Tata Power lauds Delhi govt's subsidising 50 percent rate cut

New Delhi, Jan 1 : The capital's third electricity company, Tata Power Delhi Distribution Ltd (TPDDL) Wesdnesday welcomed the Delhi Government's move to give 50 percent subsidy on power consumption up to 400 units a month.

"It is a good move from the point of view of consumers. It will provide them relief. I welcome the decision by the government," Tata Power Delhi Distribution Ltd (TPDDL) CEO Pravir Sinha told mediapersons here.

The newly installed Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government Tuesday announced a 50 percent subsidy on power consumption up to 400 units in Delhi, which will benefit around 2.5 million consumers in the city.

The Delhi government on Tuesday also asked the state's electricity distribution companies (discoms) to state their objections to their likely audit by the country's Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG).

"If the law of the land demands that (the CAG audit), we will definitely comply with the directive. We will comply with all the statutory and administrative laws and regulations," Sinha said in response to a query on the issue.

He said TPDDL was responding to government's communication on making their stand clear on the CAG scrutiny of the companies.

The other Delhi discoms -- Reliance companies BSES Rajdhani (BRPL) and BSES Yamuna (BYPL) -- have had their accounts described earlier by the AAP as being "fudged and unreliable" and, therefore, untrustworthy regarding their revenues situation.

TPDDL supplies to around 1.3 million consumers in the north and north West parts of Delhi.

A senior CAG source told IANS that since private companies are generally beyond the CAG's purview, such an audit would create a precedent of sorts. The issue puts it in the same league as the audit of Reliance Industries' KG-D6 fields operations in the eastern offshore, which has provoked debate over its admissibility.

The discoms have been pointing out that majority of the rate hike in Delhi - 45 percent - has happened in the last two years and that inadequate tariffs instead have led to huge un-recovered costs of Rs.20,000 crore.

The national context overall is the precarious financial health of state-run discoms. These had a debt burden by end-March 2012, of a staggering Rs.246,000 crore, for which the government approved a restructuring package in September last year.

Electricity tariffs were revised in the national capital in July this year. The city's consumers pay a minimum of Rs.3.90 per unit tariff.

The Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC) is likely to soon begin the tariff revision process for the year 2014-15.

--IANS (Posted on 01-01-2014)

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