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No power tariff hike for agriculture consumers

Taking note of the grievance of educational institutions, dispensaries and hospitals consuming a load up to 200kw, MERC has de-clubbed them from the commercial category and spared them from a power hike.

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The Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC) on Thursday spared a power tariff hike for nearly 16 lakh non-metered agriculture consumers consuming up to 5 horsepower and 1.20 crore residential consumers of Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Ltd (MSEDCL) with a monthly consumption up to 300 units, for 2010-11. 

Taking note of the grievance of educational institutions, dispensaries and hospitals consuming a load up to 200kw,   MERC has de-clubbed them from the commercial category and spared them from a power hike. 

The regulatory body has allowed a tariff hike at an average 3% as against 14% sought by MSEDCL and that hike is borne by the industrial and commercial sector.

The commission has approved revenue of Rs30,902 crore for 2010-11 against MSEDCL’s proposed revenue of Rs33,572 crore.  

MERC officials said the aggregate revenue requirement is significantly lower, primarily because of reduction in power purchase expenses by MSEDCL vis-a-vis the lower quantum and lower distribution losses considered by the commission.

About 78% — approximately Rs24,213 crore — of the total tariff will be used for purchasing 90,793 million units of power.
“The reason for the low tariff is clear as barring Ratnagiri Gas and Power Pvt Ltd, which sells power at a higher cost, the remaining two major suppliers are selling power at a cheap rate.

The state-owned generation company is selling at Rs2.25 per unit and central generating station which has a quota is selling at Rs2.01 per unit,” said KN Khawarey, MERC secretary.
The low tariff is accentuated with MSEDCL being able to reduce distribution loss significantly to 18.20% as against the target of 20.98% set for the year 2009-10.

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