State to file review petition on power tariff hike

Bhubaneswar: A day after the Orissa Electricity Regulatory Commission (OERC) hiked the power tariffs, the state government has decided to  file a review petition before it against the decision.
 
Minister of state for energy (independent), Atanu Sabyasachi Nayak on Saturday said that after the ministry receive order from the commission regarding this, it will file a review petition before the OERC against the tariff hike.
 
“Though it (Gridco) purchases above the estimated price from NALCO and incurs loss, we always have batted before the OERC to keep the power tariff as low as possible. We will file a review petition after receiving the report on (tariff hike) this”, said minister of state for energy, Atanu Sabyasachi Nayak.
 
The minister is said to have intimated the chief minister Naveen Patnaik over the issue.
 
The commission yesterday had hiked the power tariffs to Rs 3.50 per unit for consumers using between 50 to 200 unit of power per month, Rs 4.30 for consumers using between 200 to 400 units and Rs 4.80 per unit for consumers using above 400 units. Likewise, tariffs for the industries have been increased from Rs 3.79 to 4.77 per unit. However, tariff for those who use below 50 unit of power remains unchanged.
 
Meanwhile, the major Opposition parties in the state have raised voice against the hike. While Opposition Congress has demanded a clarification from the government, BJP has said that it will protest in and outside of the Assembly over the decision.
 
The small and medium industrial bodies have expressed resentment and argued that failure in checking the transmission and distribution loss and government not investing for development in the electricity sector have resulted in this.
 
The increased tariff rate would be implemented from April 1 this year. Notably, there was a 30 per cent hike in power tariffs last year.