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Residents and commercial establishments, particularly those in rural areas across the state, will have to pay higher electricity bills from next year if a proposal as per an Annual Revenue Requirement (ARR) Petition of the Jharkhand Bijli Vitaran Nigam imited (JBVNL), the state owned power distribution company, is passed next year. The last time power tariffs were hiked was on May 1, this year.
As per the ARR petition, power tariffs for Kutir Jyoti or tribal beneficiaries below poverty line presently being fixed at Rs 4.40 per unit has been proposed to be hiked to Rs 6 per unit, a jump of over 36 per cent. Similarly fixed charges now at Rs 20 per month has been proposed to be hiked to Rs 75 per month.
For other rural consumers, power tariff has been proposed to be hiked from the present Rs 4.75 per unit and a fixed charge of Rs 35 per month, to Rs 6 per unit, with an enhanced monthly fixed charge of Rs 75. For urban domestic consumers, the present tariff of Rs 5.50 per unit has been proposed to be hiked to Rs 6.00 per unit with no change in fixed charge of Rs 75 per month.
Similarly for commercial establishments located in rural areas, the power tariff, now standing at Rs 5.25 per unit and a fixed charge of Rs 60 has been proposed to be hiked to Rs 7 per unit and a fixed charge of Rs 225 per month.
For commercial establishments located in urban areas, the present tariff of Rs 6.00 per unit has been proposed to be hiked to Rs 7.00 per unit with no change in fixed charge of Rs 225 per month.
Power tariff for the high tension industries has been proposed to be hiked from the current Rs 5.75 per KVA with a fixed charge of Rs 300 per kilo volt ampere to Rs 6 per unit with an increased fixed charge of Rs 400.
The JBVNL petition submitted before the regulatory commission points out that despite increase in power tariffs with effect from May 1, this year, the total revenue gap, i.e. shortfall between incomes and expenditures has been pegged at Rs 11,813.05 crores for 2018-19. It adds that together with accrued interest, the total cumulative resource gap for 2018-19 is pegged at Rs 14,367.58 crore, for which only a hike in power tariffs would provide an appropriate recovery mechanism.
JSERC sources confirmed that they have received the tariff and annual revenue requirement petition from JBVNL. "The petition is currently under scrutiny by the commission," a source from the power department told TOI.
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