The National Department of Energy on Saturday requested the Odisha Electricity Regulatory Commission (OERC) not to increase the retail tariff for the year 2022-23.
During Gridco’s Aggregate Revenue Requirement (ARR) hearing, the department also asked the OERC to take into account the revenue surpluses of state distribution companies (discoms) during the year in Classes.
In a series of tweets, the state energy department informed him.
“The OERC has also been instructed not to place any orders that affect the commercial viability of @GridcoOdisha as the long-term energy security and development of the State depends on the operational viability of GRIDCO,” reads the statement. one of the tweets.
In another tweet, the state Department of Energy said it had asked the OERC to direct discoms to reduce ATC losses faster so consumers benefit from lower rates. He also asked the Commission to remove the rebate on intrastate transmission and transmission charges on renewable energy that does not benefit industries as a whole.
The request from the state energy department comes against the backdrop of Gridco asking the OERC to raise the tariff by 90 paise per unit. The Gridco requested it as the four distribution companies – Central Electricity Supply Utility (CESU), Wesco, Nesco and Southco have yet to settle their arrears amounting to Rs 7,788 crore.
Gridco’s request to raise the tariff is seen as a plot to make up for the loss by collecting more tariffs from consumers.
While distribution companies currently buy electricity from Gridco at Rs 2.96 per unit, a proposal has been made to increase it to Rs 3.85.
The Odisha Electricity Consumers Association vehemently opposed Gridco’s request. “The four distribution companies were sold to Tata Power with a healthy balance sheet. Now the Gridco is drawing up a plan to collect the full amount of liability (Rs7,788 crore) from consumers. I therefore strongly oppose Gridco’s application,” Odisha Electricity Consumers Association Chairman Ramesh Satpathy said.
The Gridco is also conspiring to collect the amount of its loan as well as the interest on it from consumers, it alleged.
The Gridco has taken out loans of around Rs2,000crore from different sources in times of crisis. And he mentioned in his petition that he would collect interest on the loan amounting to Rs623crore from consumers. In the petition, the Gridco sought clearance from the OERC for the revenue requirement of Rs 10,945crore for the financial year 2022-23.
Now the question arises who is responsible for such an unpaid amount. The President of OERC was in charge of CESU for 20 years and the CMD of Gridco was in charge of Wesco, Nesco and Southco for five years.
“It was an old loan and the officers at the time siphoned off the money. Why are consumers going to pay for it?” asked petitioner Ashok Nanda.
“Government gets Rs 3,000 crore for cess. Why is this amount not used to repay the loan,” Nanda further asked.
Despite attempts, no reaction was available from the minister concerned or from Gridco.