Review petition seeks power tariff hike rollback

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Bhubaneswar: The Odisha government on Thursday filed a review petition with the Odisha Electricity Regulatory Commission (OERC) seeking reconsideration of the hike in power tariff for the agricultural sector.

Energy Minister Pranab Prakash Das said the government has filed the review petition keeping in mind the interests of farmers of the state.

“Following the declaration in assembly, the government today filed a review petition with the OERC to roll back the hike for agricultural sector and adjust the same by cross subsidising in the tariff order,” Das told media persons here.

The OERC had announced the new electricity tariff for the 2015-16 financial year on March 24.

While the regulator raised tariff for domestic category consumers by 20 paise per unit, tariff for the farming sector was hiked by 40 paise per unit — the first such hike in 15 years.

The opposition parties blamed the government for the hike and demanded rollback.

Bowing down to the opposition’s demand, the energy minister on March 30 announced a review petition would be filed with the OERC for withdrawal of the hike announced for the agricultural sector.

Meanwhile, the state unit of Bharatiya Janata Party on Thursday blockaded the Central Electricity Supply Utility (CESU) office in Bhubaneswar, demanding withdrawal of power tariff hike and CAG audit of power utilities.

“We had staged dharna and met the governor demanding rollback of power tariff hike. There should be a CAG audit over the losses claimed by the CESU,” said BJP leader Prithviraj Harichandan.

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