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In the coming week, Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission is expected to announce new power tariffs.
While political parties are gearing up to protest in the eventuality of a rise, the commission says tariff announcements are in line with the Appellate Tribunal for Electricity's directions to maintain regular power supply in the city.
The regulator also clarified that the ongoing CAG audit will have no bearing on the tariff announcement.
Though the content of the announcement is still a matter of speculation, sources say discoms are likely to be allowed higher power purchase costs especially in light of the recent spat between BSES and NTPC over payment issues.
BSES discoms are counting heavily on higher tariffs in order to make regular payments to NTPC and other generators and also to get financial assistance from banks and lending agencies.
The Commission has also recognized a Rs 11,400 revenue gap for all discoms to be recovered in future years, so that is expected to have a considerable impact on tariff as well.
Other announcements expected are time-of-the-day metering, with the DERC toying with the option of extending the service to domestic category consumers.
Consumer activists and stakeholders had opposed this in the recently held public hearing. DERC has also said that the ongoing CAG audit will not have any bearing on the coming tariff announcement.
"CAG is doing the past years' audit while we are doing an estimation for the future. It's our job to ensure discoms maintain regular electricity supply to Delhi and enable them to make payments.
Once the audit is complete and the findings disclosed, we will analyze it accordingly but, at present, tariff determination will continue," said a DERC official.
Earlier this year, DERC finally acknowledged discoms have a massive regulatory overhang that has to be cleared and approved a Rs 8000-crore liquidation plan over an eight-year period.
"The liquidation of the revenue gap of Rs 3,643 crore for BRPL, Rs 1,998 crore for BYPL and Rs 2,359 crore for TPDDL is proposed in a scheduled manner through equal instalments, to avoid tariff burden on consumers. The annual instalments allowed to be liquidated are Rs 424 crore for BSES Yamuna Pvt Ltd (BYPL), Rs 769 crore for BSES Rajdhani Pvt Ltd (BRPL) and Rs 478 crore for Tata Power Delhi Distribution Ltd (TPDDL)," the DERC letter said.
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