Chandigarh, January 11
Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Thursday issued formal orders to the Department of Power to bear the Rs 748 crore power subsidy for the industry for 2017-18, with variable cost to be fixed at Rs 5 per unit.
Following the orders, the Deputy Secretary, Power, has written to Punjab State Electricity Regulatory Commission (PSERC), intimating the government’s decision to bear the said subsidy.
As per the letter, the state government shall bear 50% financial implication of the increased tariff retrospectively, from April to October 2017, for Medium Supply (MS) and Large Supply (LS) industrial category. This amounts to Rs 300 crore, and the balance will be borne by the industry, which will deposit the arrears in 12 equal interest-free monthly instalments.
Further, the letter points out that while the 2-part tariff system introduced by PSERC is applicable from January 1, 2018, the same shall be subject to Maximum Overall Rate (MOR) for MS and LS category from January 1 to March 31, 2018, as per single part tariff rates fixed by PSERC for the year 2017-18, subject to applicable MMC. The state government will bear the Rs 50 crore financial implication of the same.
According to an official spokesperson, the Chief Minister had also accepted the recommendation of the Power Ministry for the government to pay subsidy to Medium and Large Supply industrial power users, with variable cost @Rs 5/KVAH (excluding FCA). The Chief Minister also approved the recommendation for no change in fixed cost as announced by PSERC w.e.f January 1, 2018, and not for the full year, said the spokesperson. The total subsidy on this account for SP, MS and LS works out to Rs 398 crore.
The decision to share the industrial power tariff burden followed detailed submissions by representatives of the industry to Power and Water Resources Minister Rana Gurjit on December 19. The decisions taken at the meeting were ratified by the Council of Ministers the next day.