Discoms seek more time to file tariff plan for next fiscal

Last Updated: Mon, Dec 31, 2012 19:13 hrs

Andhra Pradesh power utilities have sought more time from the AP Electricity Regulatory Commission (Aperc) to file the mandatory annual revenue requirement (ARR) for 2013-14.

The discoms were supposed to file the ARR, which contains the details of procurement and supply of power and the related costs along with tariff proposals, on the last day of the calendar year ie December 31.

A senior official of APTransco confirmed that the discoms had written to Aperc in this regard. He, however, did not elaborate the reasons for seeking more time even as some reports suggested that the government had already cleared these proposals.

The ARR filings are sent to the state electricity regulator after taking the approval from the chief minister since these proposals will indicate as to how much revenue gap is going to be shared by the government through power subsidy and how much has to be raised from the consumers by way of tariff hike.

The four discoms had effected a substantial tariff hike to raise an additional revenue of close to Rs 4,500 crore during the current financial year. According to reports, they have yet again proposed a tariff hike for the next financial year. The government's dilemma on clearing the proposed tariff hike could be one of the reasons for this unusual decision by the discoms.

The discoms have also yet come up with a final decision on whether to opt for the debt restructuring scheme announced by the power ministry.

According to some reports, the government has agreed to provide a subsidy support of Rs 6,000 crore for next year. This is same as this year’s. The discoms, therefore, have no other option but to raise the tariff to bridge the revenue gap. This, according to reports, may translate into a 15-20 per cent hike in tariff, in which case the power utilities and the state government may have to prepare for an adverse public reaction.

The state power utilities are facing a huge burden of accumulated losses to the tune of Rs 23,000 crore and are unable to raise fresh loans from banks.

The discoms had also suffered a loss in the projected revenues during this year as they could not supply power to the extent they were allowed to procure in the wake of severe power shortage.

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