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Odisha Electricity Regulatory Commission(OERC) today announced hike in power tariff in the state effective from April 1.
The tariff for domestic category consumers has been raised by 20 paise per unit while that for agriculture sector by 40 paise per unit, OERC sources said.
This is the first hike by OERC in 15 years, the sources said. "The principal reason for tariff hike in 2015-16 is due to the pass through of Rs 740.72 crore towards past power purchase dues of NTPC by Gridco as per CERC order dated May 15, 2014," OERC secretary G K Dhal said in a statement.
OERC maintained that the tariff hike in 2015-16 is also due to increase in the number of electricity consumers, inadequate generation of low cost hydro power to meet growing demands and rise in the cost of coal and furnace oil.
In comparison to the 2014-15 fiscal, there has been a hike of 4.64 percent in the average retail supply tariff, Dhal said adding that the monthly minimum charges and meter charges remain unchanged.
The average tariff for domestic consumption of 50 units, 100 units, 200 units, 300 units, 400 units, 500 units and 600 units is Rs 2.50/ kwh, Rs 3.35/kwh, Rs 3.78/kwh, Rs 4.25/kwh, Rs 4.49/kwh and Rs 4.71/kwh and Rs 4.86/ kwh respectively, which is around 49 per cent, 31 per cent, 23 per cent, 13 per cent, 8 per cent, 4 per cent and 1 per cent less than the average cost of supply of Rs 4.88 approved by the commission.
A consumer is required to pay an average tariff of Rs 4.96 for the consumption of 700 units, which is 1.6 per cent higher than the average cost of supply, an OERC release said.
While opposition Congress and BJP have criticised the power tariff hike, Energy Minister P P Das said an increase by 20 paise on domestic use will hardly hit the consumers.
Besides, there was no power tariff hike in 2014-15, he said.
Leader of Opposition Narasingha Mishra of Congress said "The hike in the power tariff on farming sector proved that government's lack of interest in the development of farmers."
BJP leader and MLA Pradip Purohit demanded immediate roll back of the power tariff as it would hit both consumers and the farmers.
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