Powermen urge Modi 3.0 to shun privatisationPower sector

Virendra Singh Rawat

The Uttar Pradesh power distribution companies (discoms) have pegged their revenue gap at almost Rs 12,000 crore in the next financial year 2024-25.

In their annual revenue requirement (ARR) filings with the UP Electricity Regulatory Commission (UPERC), the discoms estimated consumption of 145 billion units of power in the next fiscal. The total expenditure of procuring this energy is pegged at between Rs 80,000 crore and Rs 85,000 crore.

According to the ARR documents, these government-run utilities have projected a revenue gap of between Rs 11,000 crore and Rs 12,000 crore in 2024-25 against net revenue requirement of more than Rs one trillion.

Interestingly, the UP discoms are burdened with accumulated losses of about Rs 70,000 crore. The line losses to be incurred by discoms are expected at 13 percent during the next fiscal.

Moreover, the discoms have not sought the UPERC permission to increase the power tariffs in wake of the projected revenue gap.

However, they have urged the energy regulator to offer guidance to mitigate their financial woes; which is understood as tacitly seeking to hike power tariffs.

UP power tariffs have not been raised over the last four years. In the current election year when the next Lok Sabha elections are slated in the early months of 2024, any hike is plausibly off the table.

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Meanwhile, UP power consumers’ forum president Awadhesh Kumar Verma has claimed since the UP discoms owe consumers over Rs 33,000 crore, there should not be any hike and instead the tariffs should be cut.

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