In what could be a big blow to the people across the state, the Yogi Adityanath-led BJP government in Uttar Pradesh has increased power tariff for domestic and industrial consumers by up to 12 per cent on Tuesday. The increase for various categories of business establishments is between 5 to 10 per cent while the domestic rate varies from 10 to 12 per cent in the state, according to an official release.
For domestic consumers, the actual increase after deducting the regulatory surcharge would be 3.72 per cent to 7.72 per cent. Similarly, the effective increase for Industrial (Heavy) Consumer category after reducing regulatory surcharge of 4.28 per cent would be 0.72 per cent to 5.72 per cent. The new tariffs will come into effect from the date to be notified by the government.
The development comes months after Uttar Pradesh Power Corporation Limited (UPPCL) had, in June, proposed hiking electricity tariffs by more than 25 per cent for domestic consumers. The power tariffs for the state commercial sector consumers have also been proposed to be hiked by 10-15 per cent in the financial year 2019-20.
Reacting to the revised rates, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati said the decision by the Uttar Pradesh BJP government to approve the hike in electricity rates is completely anti-people.
Taking to Twitter the former Uttar Pradesh chief minister wrote, "This will increase the burden of crores of people, especially the toiling masses of the state and their lives will be more stricken and painful. It would be better if the government immediately reconsiders it".
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The hike was approved by the Uttar Pradesh Electricity Regulatory Commission (UPERC) in a bid to make up the increased expenditure of state distribution utilities. The commission, however, abolished the regulatory surcharge of 4.8 per cent for state discoms, giving relief to customers from a sharp increase.
For Agricultural metered consumers there is an increase of 9 per cent for Urban Schedule and 15 per cent for Rural Schedule (effective after reducing RS at 4.28 per cent = 4.72 per cent to 10.72 per cent), the release said.
The lowest tariff hike has been approved for industries amongst all consumer categories to spur consumption, which in turn will reduce the overall power purchase cost due to stranded cost and induce economic growth in the state. To deter unmetered connections and for conversion of unmetered to metered connection, a rise in tariff for domestic unmetered connections has been approved.
The release stated abolition of regulatory surcharge for state discoms and 6 per cent of NPCL as the salient feature of the order. The Commission will use the surplus of Rs 10,793.21 crore as existing at the end of FY 2016-17, to be adjusted in future for the purposes of meeting the gaps of FY 2017-18 & onwards and also if required, for meeting uncertainties.
The rates have been revised keeping in view the increase in the expenditure cost and decrease in revenue, which had widened the gap and financial efficiency of the state discoms, the statement said.