POWER TARIFF REVISED | Small-time farmers, shopkeepers, common households, industry competitiveness get prime importance: JERC

The order reads that it had been ensured that the tariff in J&K was significantly lower than any other neighbouring state, and was almost half when compared to states like Haryana, Delhi, and Rajasthan.
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Jammu: The Joint Electricity Regulatory Commission (JERC) for Jammu Kashmir and Ladakh has revised the power tariff from the third quarter of the current financial year and it will be effective from 1st October 2022, an official spokesman said Thursday.

The official spokesman in a statement issued here said that in this regard, an order issued by the commission states that the new tariff has been designed in such a way that it ensures minimum inconvenience to the citizens while at the same time protecting the interests of the domestic, commercial, agricultural, and industrial sectors.

The order said that the average overall nominal increase over the previous tariff last revised in 2016-17 was just 8 percent whereas the inflation rate in the corresponding period was 24 percent (the CPI Combined: All India General Index (All Groups) has risen from 131.1 in April 2017 to 162.5 in July 2022), thus it being safe to say that there was an effective decrease in tariff by 16 percent (adjusted for inflation).

The order reads that it had been ensured that the tariff in J&K was significantly lower than any other neighbouring state, and was almost half when compared to states like Haryana, Delhi, and Rajasthan.

According to the order, “The rates for Below Poverty Line (BPL) consumers have been kept unchanged at Rs 1.25 for up to 30 units per month while as for domestic category consumers, for up to 200 units per month, the rate would be Rs 2 per unit, almost unchanged from before, for 200 to 400 units per month, the rate would be Rs 3.50 per unit, an increase of 6 percent in 5 years and for more than 400 units per month, the rate would be Rs 3.80 per unit, an increase of 8 percent in 5 years. The corresponding rates for Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Haryana, and Delhi are Rs 5.95, Rs 6.25, Rs 7.30, Rs 7, and Rs 8 per unit.”

The order reads that the fixed charges should be marginally increased from Rs 5.50 per kW per month to Rs 8, the charges for flat metering should be Rs 175 for the first quarter kW, then an increase of Rs 200 for every quarter kW till a load of 2 kW, beyond which the charges would be Rs 500 for every quarter kW.

In the commercial category, for the single-phase connections for upto 200 units per month, the rate would be Rs 3.10 per unit, an increase of 7 percent in 5 years.

For the single-phase connections for 200 to 500 units per month, the rate would be Rs 4.70 per unit, an increase of 9 percent in 5 years.

For single-phase connections for more than 500 units per month, and for three-phase connections at any usage, the rate would be Rs 5.10 per unit.

The corresponding rates for Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Haryana, and Delhi are in the range of Rs 5.50 to 9 per unit.

It said that the fixed charges should be marginally increased from Rs 44 per kW per month to Rs 60 for single-phase connections, from Rs 104.50 per kW per month to Rs 130 for three-phase connections and the charges for flat metering should be Rs 500 for every quarter kW.

In the agricultural sector, the charges have been rationalised at Rs 0.80 per unit for connections up to 10 HP, Rs 1 per unit for connections from 10 to 20 HP, and Rs 5.25 per unit for larger connections beyond 20 HP.

The fixed charges have been rationalised at Rs 30 per HP per month for all connections.

The rate structure has only been simplified as the increase in the agriculture category has been minimal.

In the LT Industry category, applicable to connections below 100 kW, the charges have been rationalised to Rs 3.65 per kVAh, and a fixed charge of Rs 60 per kVA, an overall increase of about 11 percent in 5 years.

There would be a special category called LTIS-II for connections less than 15 HP given to certain small industries eligible for the concession as per government notification.

For this category, the fixed charges would be Rs 30 per kVA per month.

In the HT Industry category, the charges would be Rs 3.60, Rs 3.50, and Rs 3.44 per kVAh for 11 kV, 33kV, and 66 kV connections, and the fixed charges would be Rs 175 per kVA per month for all connections.

The increase is about 22 percent in 5 years, less than the inflation increase of 24 percent and still significantly less than any other state in the country to incentivise industrial investments.

In the HT Power Intensive Industry category, the charges would be Rs 4.35, Rs 4.30, and Rs 4.23 per kVAh for 11 kV, 33kV, and 66 kV connections, and the fixed charges would be Rs 225 per kVA per month for all connections and the increase is about 21 percent in 5 years.

In the bulk consumer category, the charges would be Rs 4.90 and Rs 4.85 per kVAh for 11 kV and 33kV connections.

The fixed charges would be Rs 225 per kVA per month for all connections and the increase is about 23 percent in 5 years.

For supply to the government sector establishments, the rates would be Rs 6.90 per kVAh and the fixed charge of Rs 40 per kVA per month for all central and state government departments.

The rates would be Rs 7.50 per unit and the fixed charge of Rs 60 per kW per month for pubic street lighting, or Rs 3500 per kW per month on a flat rate.

The rates would be Rs 7.50 per unit and the fixed charge of Rs 60 per kW per month for LT public water works.

The rates would be Rs 7.10 and Rs 7 per kVAh for 11 kV and 33kV connections and the fixed charge of Rs 250 per kVA per month for HT public water works.

The average increase in these rates has been around 25 percent at par with the rate of inflation over the past 5 years.

The average rate of power purchase for J&K is Rs 4.54 per unit and the Aggregate Technical and Commercial Loss for the FY 2021-22 stands at 46 percent for the Jammu division and 60 percent for the Kashmir region against the prescribed ceiling of 20 percent.

Infrastructural improvements and technological interventions such as smart metering and a revised yet simplified tariff schedule were keys to improving the financial health of distribution companies.

The official spokesman said that the department aims, with all necessary interventions, to bring the losses within acceptable limits and to provide 24x7 electricity to all consumers by 2025.

The tariff has been revised to provide a round-the-clock power supply to the people of J&K as well as reduce the massive losses.

The JERC has also kept the tariff rates lower for J&K than other states or union territories across the country.

The rates for industrial categories vary from a minimum of Rs 4.70 to a maximum of Rs 7.75 per kVAh in the neighbouring states of Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Haryana, and Delhi.

To ensure incentivising industrial development, the price of the highest rate slab of industrial supply has been kept less than the lowest rate slab in any neighboring state.

The new tariff schedule has been designed to minimise the burden on the end consumer while at the same time ensuring the financial health of the power distribution companies.

It has been ensured that the tariff was competitive for industries and the interests of the average farmer, small shopkeeper, and average household had been given prime importance.

The official spokesman said that the department was committed to modernise the billing and metering system to maximise compliance, minimise power theft, and provide the best service to the end consumer. 

Consumers have been encouraged to shift from flat metering to normal metering as it would be economical for the consumer and good for the robustness of the distribution system.

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