Ahmedabad: The Gujarat Electricity Regulatory Commission (GERC) Friday decided to keep the tariffs of state-owned power distribution companies unchanged for 2017-18 for all consumers.
With assembly elections likely by the end of this year, the move is likely to give some political mileage to the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party government.
Gujarat Urja Vikas Nigam Ltd, the state government-owned electricity services company, is the holding company for Uttar Gujarat Vij Co. Ltd, Dakshin Gujarat Vij Co. Ltd, Madhya Gujarat Vij Co. Ltd and Paschim Gujarat Vij Co. Ltd. Together, these companies supply power to more than 10 million consumers.
Tariff for all consumers including domestic and industrial would remain unchanged for the next one year.
The four state-owned discoms had filed the petitions for determination of tariff for 2017-18 in accordance with GERC (MYT) Regulations, 2016.
In January this year, Gujarat Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI), an apex industry body in the state had recommended that state discoms take measures to bring down the cost of electricity rather than burdening consumers with an increase in tariff.
The discoms were looking for a 53 paise per unit hike for 2017-18, GCCI had said in January.
“The Commission approved the consolidated revenue surplus of the four discoms for FY 2015-16 at Rs. 791 crore against the consolidated revenue gap of Rs. 1051 crore claimed by them. The main reason for surplus for FY 2015-16 is non consideration of provision of Rs. 1916 crore power purchase cost," GERC said in its order.
In view of the above, the commission decided not to modify the existing tariff rates of consumers for FY 2017-18, the regulator added.
The order, passed by Roopwant Singh, secretary, GERC stated that the total distribution losses for discoms should be reduced to 14.24% for FY 2017-18 as against distribution losses of 15.90% for FY 2015-16.
GERC has also directed the discoms to submit action plans for replacement of defective meters and initiate efforts for reduction in fixed cost liability related to stranded generating stations due to non-availability of fuel or costly fuel by renegotiation of power purchase agreements (PPAs).
While determining the annual revenue requirement (ARR) for Gujarat State Electricity Corp. Ltd (GSECL), another subsidiary of GUVNL, for a five-year period, the commission has ordered GSECL to reduce fixed cost by decommissioning of old power plants of Sikka, Gandhinagar, Ukai and Dhuvaran. This would reduce the burden on the consumers, it said, while directing GSECL to step up efforts for reducing fuel cost by procuring maximum quantity of coal from western coal fields, thus saving on freight charges.