Instead of checking power theft, PDD proposes massive tariff hike to reduce losses

Nishikant Khajuria

JAMMU, Oct 21: Instead of checking power theft, the Jammu and Kashmir Power Development Department has proposed massive tariff hike across consumer categories to partially reduce the revenue gap of Rs 3031.23 crores for the current financial year.
As per the proposed tariff structure, there will be 25 percent increase in the Energy Charges for metered domestic connections up to 400 units per month while for un-metered domestic connections, the increase in tariff will be 35 percent above the existing rate.
The proposed tariff for Fixed Charges under domestic category will be four times more than the existing one while the tariff increase in case of Fixed Charges for all units will be six times more.
In the case of commercial metered connections, the proposed tariff hike for single phase as well as three phases is also 25 percent and for un-metered non-domestic connections, the increase in proposed tariff is 30 percent from the existing rates.
For the metered connections of Government Departments, the proposed tariff hike is 10 percent while in the case of Fixed Charges in this category, the proposed increase in tariff hike is 50 percent.
While proposing the hike in tariff, the PDD has not spared even Agriculture connection and Public Street Lighting etc, for which the increase is 10 percent and above.
For the metered and un-metered agriculture connections, the proposed increase in tariff is 10 percent and 15 percent, respectively while in case of Fixed Charges for connected load up to 10 HP, 11-20 HP and above 20 HP, the proposed tariff increase percentage is 33, 50 and 25, respectively for the metered connections. For the un-metered connections in this category (Agriculture Fixed Charges), the proposed increase in tariff is 15 percent.
For Public Street Lighting connections, the PDD has proposed 10 percent increase in the tariff while in case of Fixed Charge in this category, the tariff increase will be 27 percent. Similarly, for the connections of Public Water Works, the proposed hike is 10 percent from the existing tariff, which will obviously increase the water usage charges also by the PHE department.
The proposed tariff increase for LT Industrial Supply is 15 percent (Energy Charge) and 20 percent ( Fixed Charge) while for HT Industrial supply, the proposed tariff increase is 20 percent (Energy charge) and 35 percent ( Demand Charge).
JKPDD has also proposed to introduce Time of Day (ToD) Tariff for HT consumers, according to which, there will a 10 percent surcharge on Energy charges during peak hours (0600-0800 hrs and 18-2200 hrs) and 10 percent rebate on the charges during off-peak hours (2300-0500 hrs). For other than peak and off-peak hours, normal Energy Charges shall be applicable.
The PDD is estimated to generate Rs 809.86 crores as additional revenue from this proposed tariff revision. Even as the unmet revenue gap of Rs 3031.23 crores for the financial year 2019-20 shall be met through budgetary support from the Government, the proposed increase in tariff will reduce this gap by Rs 809.86 crores.
JKPDD, which is a deemed licensee under section 14 of the Jammu and Kashmir Electricity Act, 2010 for transmission and distribution of electrical energy in the State of J&K, has filed the petition for annual revenue requirement for FY 2019-20 to FY 2020-21 and Tariff Proposed for FY 2019-20 with the J&K state Electricity Regulatory Commission (JKSERC). The Commission has admitted the petition and directed the JKPDD- Distribution Business to invite objections/suggestions from various stakeholders.
Ironically, the JKPDD has proposed tariff revision with massive hike to partially reduce the revenue gap between average cost of supply as against energy sale, but there was virtually zero progress to check the power theft. The status of consumer metering in the last two year has shown downward trend from 55.94 percent (2016-17) to 55.34 percent (2018-19).