New Delhi, July 8(PTI) The declaration of power tariff for year 2021-22 in Delhi, already delayed by over three months, is likely to be held back for some more days due to Lt Governor Anil Baijal seized of the matter involving extension of retirement age of the three-member DERC panel, sources said on Thursday.
The power tariff of a financial year is normally announced before April 1, the date when it comes into forces, they said.
The Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC) panel is currently having one member AK Ambasht. Justice(retired) SS Chauhan completed his term on July 4 after attaining 65 year age. Another member of the commission, AK Singhal, retired in January this year.
Justice (retired) Chauhan wrote to the LG urging for extending tenure of DERC members to age of 67 years or five years. Currently, the age of retirement of DERC members is 64 years or 5-year term, whichever is earlier, the sources claimed.
Justice (retired) Chauhan wanted to announce the new power tariff before completing his term, they claimed.
'The tariff order is almost ready. It could not be announced because there were some difference involving the commission members,' said an official privy to the development.
The nature of difference was not known although the ruling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has been claiming credit for not allowing any hike in power tariff during its rule in Delhi for more than seven years, amid distribution companies (discoms) petitioning the DERC for hike in view of surmounting regulatory assets and impact of COVID-19 and the resultant lockdown.
The Delhi government has formed a selection committee to name the next DERC chairperson. The Committee has already held a meeting, the sources said.
Power discoms including TPDDL, and BSES discoms BYPL and BRPL filed their tariff petitions in December 2020. However, they have made further submissions to the DERC seeking factoring in of impact of second wave and possibility of third one.
The BSES discoms in their revised petitions have hiked their expected revenue gap from Rs 1,703 crore to Rs 3,577 crore(BRPL) and Rs 1,148 crore to Rs 1,945 crore, for 2021-22.
The Tata Power Delhi Distribution Limited (TPDDL) too in its submission has expressed fear of a decrease in income in the current financial year.
According to the sources, the delay in issuing tariffs is against the recommendations of the National Tariff Policy 2016 and Ministry of Power directions to state power regulators.
'Timely issuance of the tariff orders and full-cost reflectiveness of tariff are important prerequisites for ensuring sustainability of the power sector and is also in the interest of the electricity consumers,' the Ministry said in a communication to power regulators in April.
The tariff order for a financial year in normal course should be announced before April 1.However, the power tariff announcement in the national capital In the past 5 years have been delayed regularly by 4-12 months, the sources claimed further. PTI VIT CK