The Karnataka Electricity Regulatory Commission (KERC) has hiked the power tariff for all consumers in the State by an average 23 paise a unit to bridge the revenue deficit of all the five electricity companies yesterday, a day after the Assembly elections. This is the fifth hike in the past 30 months.

The actual increase ranges from a minimum of 20 paise to a maximum of 30 paise a unit for different categories of consumers. The new tariff came into retrospective effect from May 1.

Though the Commission had originally scheduled its tariff order pronouncement on March 28, it was put off till the elections on the advice of the Election Commission.

The tariff for domestic consumers has gone up by 20 paise a unit while that for commercial and industrial consumers has been hiked by 25 paise a unit. The highest increase of 30 paise a unit has been imposed on temporary connections. Water supply has been spared.

Tariff revision was taken up after all the five electricity supply companies filed petitions before the KERC on Dec. 10, 2012 seeking an average hike of 70 paise a unit to bridge a revenue gap of Rs. 2,232 crore. However, the three-member Commission headed by former bureaucrat M.R. Sreenivasa Murthy concluded that the revenue gap was Rs. 1,125 crore after examining various parameters as well as records and granted an average hike of 23 paise to mop up the deficit in a full year.

The quantum of increase has been moderated by distributing its impact among all categories, including irrigation pumpsets below 10 HP capacity and Bhagya/Kutir Jyothi consumers. Though the ESCOMs had not proposed any hike for IP sets and Bhagya/Kutir Jyothi consumers, the Commission increased the tariff for them by 20 paise a unit. However, the government will have to pay this on their behalf since they are fully subsidised. With this, the power subsidy burden on the government will increase from Rs. 4,722 crore to Rs. 5,381 crore.

Courtesy : Star Of Mysore