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Thursday, Nov 18, 2004

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Power tariff:Changes in rate structure for farm sector?

By Our Special Correspondent

HYDERABAD, NOV. 17. Hike in power tariff for consumers in the domestic and commercial categories for the next electricity year beginning April 1, 2005, has been ruled out.

The changes in the present tariff structure, if any, will only be by way of minor adjustments, which may include a marginal reduction for industries. Sources in the Andhra Pradesh Transco, however, indicated today that there would be major "corrections" in the rate structure applicable to the agriculture sector. They did not clarify if this would mean restricting the free supply benefit to small/marginal farmers and asking corporate farms to pay the cost-to-serve price.

Officials of Transco and four discoms are preparing the annual revenue requirement (ARR) reports for the next financial year to be submitted to the State Electricity Regulatory Commission. A senior official said the reports indicating the revenue receipts as against the expenditure for the year and the adjustments to be made would be presented to the commission a month in advance this year by month-end.

Transco in a spot

After receiving the report, the commission will pose them for public hearing at different centres in the State before passing the tariff order effective from April 1.

Meanwhile, the Transco is leading a "hand-to-mouth" existence regarding the supply with the stoppage of generation at Upper and Lower Sileru hydel stations at the instance of the Government. The Government ordered for the stoppage for conserving water for the rabi season. The grid lost nearly 800 MW because of this.

A grid operation official said they would have faced difficulty due to this but for a drastic fall in agriculture demand. The total supply made these days is revolving around 130 million units compared to 160 mu, the peak when the farm demand was high.

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