With the Punjab State Electricity Regulatory Commission (PSERC) on Monday announced a 9.33 per cent hike in electricity tariff, the power rates in Punjab are set to increase in the current fiscal year 2017-18. The revised tariff will be implemented from 1 April. PSERC chairperson, Kusumjit Sidhu said that the increase in electricity charges will be recovered from consumers in installments over a period of nine months.

Sidhu informed that the consolidated gap of Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) was worked out at Rs 2,522.62 Crore against proposed Rs 11,575.53 Crore. “An overall increase of 9.33 per cent is required over the existing tariff to cover the revenue gap in the current fiscal year,” said Sidhu, while addressing the mediapersons. She also announced the Multi Year Tariff (MYT) for the year 2017-18 to 2019-20.

She said, under MYT regime which has been announced for the first time, the controllable and normative components of the annual revenue requirement has been determined and fixed for the control period. “Only uncontrollable costs, specified in MYT regulations will be reviewed during annual performance review exercise. The hike in power tariff has been announced after a gap of three years,” she said.

Sidhu said, the Commission decided to introduce a two-part tariff structure in the new tariff order for all categories except for agriculture sector. “The tariff structure envisages a fixed charge and a variable charge which has been adopted by almost all the states in line with national tariff policy,” she said.

Sidhu said the tariff for domestic consumers has been increased between 7 per cent and 12 per cent. For the industrial sector, the power tariff has been increased by 8.50 per cent to 12 per cent, while for commercial category, the electricity rates have been jacked up by 8 per cent to 11 per cent, she said.

The power subsidy burden for the year 2017-18 has been estimated at Rs 10,970 Crore including free power to farmers and arrears of Rs 2,800 Crore, she said. “The subsidy burden does not include the subsidised power at the rate of Rs 5 per unit to industrial category which has been announced by the Congress-led government in Punjab,” Sidhu added.

She further said that the benefit of subsidised power at Rs 5 per unit to the industry was yet to be worked out. The total income from the new tariff for PSPCL has been worked out at Rs 28,910 Crore, Rs 30,241 Crore and Rs 31,739 Crore for 2017-18, 2018-19 and 2019-20 respectively, she said.