Interests of the average farmer, small shop-keeper, average household and competitiveness of industry given prime importance; Revision much lower than inflation rate: JERC
JAMMU, OCTOBER 13: The Joint Electricity Regulatory Commission (JERC) for Jammu Kashmir and Ladakh has revised the power tariff from the third quarter of the current financial year and it will be effective from 1st October 2022.
In this regard, an order issued by the Commission states that the new tariff has been designed in such a way so as to ensure minimum inconvenience to the citizens, while at the same time protecting the interests of the domestic, commercial, agricultural and industrial sectors. The order adds that the average overall nominal increase over the previous tariff last revised in 2016-17 is just 8%, whereas the inflation rate in the corresponding period is 24% (the CPI Combined: All India General Index (All Groups) has risen from 131.1 in April 2017 to 162.5 in July 2022), thus it being safe to say that there is an effective decrease in tariff by 16% (adjusted for inflation).
The order further reads that it has been ensured that the tariff in Jammu and Kashmir is significantly lower than any other neighbouring state, and is in fact almost half when compared to states like Haryana, Delhi and Rajasthan.
According to order, “the rates for Below Poverty Line consumers have been kept unchanged at Rs 1.25 for upto 30 units per month while as for domestic category consumers, for upto 200 units per month, the rate will be Rs 2 per unit, almost unchanged from before, for 200 to 400 units per month, the rate will be Rs 3.50 per unit, an increase of 6% in 5 years and for more than 400 units per month, the rate will be Rs 3.80 per unit, an increase of 8% in 5 years”. “The corresponding rates for Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Haryana and Delhi are Rs 5.95, 6.25, 7.30, 7 and 8 per unit respectively”, it adds.
The order also reads that the fixed charges shall be marginally increased from Rs 5.50 per kW per month to Rs. 8, the charges for flat metering shall be Rs 175 for the first quarter kW, then an increase of Rs 200 for every quarter kW till a load of 2 kW, beyond which the charges will be Rs 500 for every quarter kW.
In the commercial category, for Single Phase connections, for upto 200 units per month, the rate will be Rs 3.10 per unit, increase of 7% in 5 years, for Single Phase connections, for 200 to 500 units per month, the rate will be Rs 4.70 per unit, increase of 9% in 5 years and for Single Phase connections for more than 500 units per month, and for Three Phase connections at any usage, the rate will be Rs 5.10 per unit. The corresponding rates for Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Haryana and Delhi are in the range of Rs 5.50 to 9 per unit. It adds that the fixed charges shall be marginally increased from Rs 44 per kW per month to Rs 60 for single phase connections, from Rs 104.50 per kW per month to Rs 130 for three phase connections and the charges for flat metering shall be Rs 500 for every quarter kW.
In the agricultural sector, the charges have been rationalised at Rs 0.80 per unit for connections upto 10 HP, Rs 1.00 per unit for connections from 10 to 20 HP and Rs 5.25 per unit for larger connections beyond 20 HP. The fixed charges have been rationalised at Rs 30 per HP per month for all connections. The rate structure has only been simplified as the increase in agriculture category has been minimal.
In the LT Industry category, applicable to connections below 100 kW, the charges have been rationalised to Rs 3.65 per kVAh, and fixed charge of Rs 60 per kVA, an overall increase of about 11% in 5 years. There will be a special category called LTIS-II for connections less than 15 HP given to certain small industries eligible for concession as per government notification and for this category, the fixed charges will be Rs 30 per kVA per month.
In the HT Industry category, the charges will be Rs 3.60, Rs 3.50 and Rs 3.44 per kVAh for 11 kV, 33kV and 66 kV connections respectively and the fixed charges will be Rs 175 per kVA per month for all connections. The increase is about 22% in 5 years, less than the inflation increase of 24% and still significantly less than any other state in the country with an aim to incentivise industrial investments.
In the HT Power Intensive Industry category, the charges will be Rs 4.35, Rs 4.30 and Rs 4.23 per kVAh for 11 kV, 33kV and 66 kV connections respectively and the fixed charges will be Rs 225 per kVA per month for all connections and the increase is about 21% in 5 years.
In the Bulk consumer category, the charges will be Rs 4.90 and Rs 4.85 per kVAh for 11 kV and 33kV connections respectively. The fixed charges will be Rs 225 per kVA per month for all connections and the increase is about 23% in 5 years.
For supply to the Government sector establishments, the rates will be Rs 6.90 per kVAh and the fixed charge of Rs 40 per kVA per month for all central and state government departments. The rates will be Rs 7.50 per unit and the fixed charge of Rs 60 per kW per month for pubic street lighting, or Rs 3500 per kW per month on flat rate. The rates will be Rs 7.50 per unit and the fixed charge of Rs 60 per kW per month for LT public water works. The rates will be Rs 7.10 and Rs 7.00 per kVAh for 11 kV and 33kV connections respectively and the fixed charge of Rs 250 per kVA per month for HT public water works. The average increase in these rates has been around 25%, at par with the rate of inflation over the past 5 years.
Pertinently, the average rate of power purchase for the UT of Jammu and Kashmir is Rs 4.54 per unit and the Aggregate Technical and Commercial Loss for the FY 2021-22 stands at 46 % for Jammu division and 60 % for Kashmir region against the prescribed ceiling of 20%. Infrastructural improvements, technological interventions such as smart metering and a revised yet simplified tariff schedule are keys to improving the financial health of the distribution companies. The department aims, with all necessary interventions, to bring the losses within the acceptable limits and to provide 24*7 electricity to all consumers by 2025.
The tariff has been revised with an aim of providing round the clock power supply to the people of Jammu and Kashmir as well reduce the massive losses. The JERC has also kept the tariff rates lower for Jammu and Kashmir than other State or UT across the country.
Notable to mention, that the rates for industrial categories vary from a minimum of Rs 4.70 to a maximum of Rs 7.75 per kVAh in the neighbouring states of Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Haryana and Delhi. In order to ensure incentivize industrial development, the price of the highest rate slab of industrial supply has been kept less than the lowest rate slab in any neighboring state. The new tariff schedule is designed to minimize the burden on the end consumer while at the same time ensuring the financial health of the power distribution companies. It has been ensured that the tariff is competitive for industries, and the interests of the average farmer, small shop-keeper and an average household have been given the prime importance. The department is committed to modernise the billing and metering system, in order to maximize compliance, minimize power theft and to provide best service to the end consumer. The consumers are encouraged to shift from flat metering to normal metering, since it will be economical for the consumer as well as good for the robustness of the distribution system.