Patna: Bihar Electricity Regulatory Commission (BERC) will hold a two-day final public hearing on tariff petition for 2014-15 here on February 12 and 13. The hearing for Darbhanga and Muzaffarpur is scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday respectively. The public hearing in Chhapra and Gaya would be held on February 5 and 11 respectively.
Representatives of Bihar Chamber of Commerce and Industries and Bihar Industries Association (BIA) will appear at the two-day hearing here in the state capital. The BERC will announce its decision on new power tariff for the next financial year by March. The BERC has engaged a Hyderabad-based consultant, Administrative Staff College, for analysing and determining annual revenue requirement (ARR) by the Bihar State Power Holding Company Limited (BSPHCL) and the tariff.
The consultant will determine voltage-wise cost of supply, taking into account the cost of power purchased and voltage loss level. It would also determine the subsidy for different categories of consumers as per the policy of the state government, said an official.
The consultant will also verify energy audit results to determine the loss in different areas/localities and scrutinize and analyse the data used in the tariff petition by the BSPHCL. This would include verification of the normative consumption of electricity by agricultural consumers and Kutir Jyoti consumers in rural areas as proposed by the BSPHCL
The BSPHCL has submitted its proposal to the BERC, seeking steep hike in electricity tariff for domestic and commercial supply. The proposed hike is nearly 50% and, if approved by the BERC, would be effective from the financial year 2014-15.
Some of the political parties and members of Bijli Upbhokta Sangharsh Samiti have strongly opposed the move to increase the electricity tariff by nearly 50%. “Any increase in the electricity tariff will be disastrous for the industrial activities as well as business and civic life,” said a local activist. They have urged the BERC to review the proposal of the steep hike in electricity tariff on the pattern of New Delhi and Mumbai. The hike in electricity tariff would vitiate the industrial atmosphere in Bihar that yearns for industrialization and growth, said a local businessman. They have requested CM Nitish Kumar to intervene in the matter.
Representatives of various power workers union said the BSPHCL should first improve its functioning, make efforts to bring down the transmission loss and provide uninterrupted power supply to the industries before raising the tariff.