From April 1, the power tariff in Assam will be hiked by 8 percent which means the consumers will have to pay 59 paisa more per unit.
The Assam Electricity Regulatory Commission (AERC) chairman Kumar Sanjay Krishna said the new electricity tariff will be Rs 7.20 per unit instead of the existing Rs 6.61.
The hike was approved following a shortfall in revenue in the current financial year due to continuous lockdown induced by the COVID-19 pandemic and a dip in demand for a considerable period of time during the year.
“The APDCL, filing a petition before the AERC, had sought a hike by around Rs 2.41, an increase of around 34 percent, but the regulatory commission has allowed an average tariff hike of 8 percent across categories for 2022-23,” Sanjay Krishna said.
“The COVID-19 pandemic had adversely affected the economy as a whole during the financial year 2020-21 and onwards. Though the impact of the pandemic is minimal in the case of generation and transmission, there was a significant impact on the distribution sector – that is on APDCL,” he said.
The APDCL (Assam Power Distribution Company Limited) in their petition factored the impact of COVID-19 as well as other issues and prayed before the AERC for approval of truing up a gap of Rs 1,168 crore, including the carrying cost of Rs 195 crore for 2020-21.
The APDCL also claimed an APR (annual percentage rate) gap of Rs 710 crore for 2021-22 and an ARR (average revenue realisation) gap of Rs 1,157 crore for 2022-23 totalling Rs 3,035 crore.
“However, to give some tariff relief to the consumers, the APDCL restricted their claim to Rs 2,189 crore, which translates to a hike of 34 percent over the existing tariff,” Sanjay Krishna said.
He said the AERC has approved the cumulative revenue gap of Rs 946 crore against the claim of Rs 2,189 crore by the APDCL for 2022-23.
“To ease the burden on the consumers, Assam government has approved an amount of Rs 400 crore as power purchase subsidy to the APDCL after which the net gap required to be recovered through tariff for 2022-23 works out to Rs 546 crore,” he said.
“So the commission has decided an overall increase of around 8 percent in the electricity tariff which is an average increase of Rs 0.59 per unit,” Sanjay Krishna added.