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Consumers oppose KSEB proposals

Staff Reporter

Move to bridge projected revenue gap


Significant increase in employee cost

‘Hydel power generation higher than projected'


KOCHI: The proposals of the Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) to bridge the projected revenue gap of Rs.2,208 crore for 2011-12 met with stiff resistance from various categories of consumers here on Monday at the first of the two hearings held by the Kerala State Electricity Regulatory Commission.

The objections looked at various areas of the board's operations, with the significant increase in employee cost over the past 10 years coming into sharp focus.

A presentation before the commission by the Kerala State HT (high-tension) and EHT (extra high-tension) Industrial Electricity Consumers' Association said the board's serving employee strength had gone up by 14.73 per cent over the past 10 years. It rose from 24,541 in 2002-03 to the 28,157 of now.

The analysis said the employee cost had gone up by 185 per cent during the 10-year period under review. It was projected to go up to Rs.1,911 crore during 2011-12 from the Rs.671-crore level in 2002-03.

The serving employee cost had gone up by 226 per cent between 2002-03 and 2010-11. The actual figures were Rs.356 crore during 2002-03 and Rs.1,160 crore projected for the new financial year. The board also had 31,108 pensioners.

The employee cost in the annual revenue requirement projection for the last financial year was Rs.1,690 crore. The cost approved by the regulatory commission for the year 2010-11 was Rs.1,247 crore.

The employee cost projection for 2011-12 was Rs.1,910 crore, a rise of Rs.663 crore, or 53.18 per cent, from the 2010-11 approved level. This implied that 34.07 per cent of the revenue went into meeting the employee cost. The board spent Rs.34,330 on an employee on an average every month, while the average expense on pensioners was Rs.20,143.

The Standing Council of Trade Unions, which attended the hearing, said in a representation to the commission that hydel power generation was higher than what was projected by the board in the past years. For example, the representation said, the actual hydel generation during 2011-12 will come to 8,400 million units against the projection of 7,054 million units.

The council wanted the regulatory commission to look into the efficiency and productivity of the employees in relation to the increase in their salaries.

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