Bihar CM against retro- spective power tariff hike

Bihar CM Nitish Kumar opposed the practice of enhancement of tariff and fuel surcharge with retrospective effect. Addressing Power Regulators heads of different states & Chairman of CERC at Bodh Gaya, the CM asked power regulators to submit their reports in time and stop the practice of imposing burden on power users with retrospective effect.

He further said that power users cannot be made to pay for the lack of efficiency and professionalism of the people engaged in power generation, transmission and distribution.

NTPC was not providing enough power to the state and as such, with the permission of the regulatory commission, the BSEB was purchasing power from other sources to meet the minimum power requirements of the state. Lauding the efforts for popularizing the non-conventional and renewable sources of power, the CM asked to take steps to bring down their costs from the present almost prohibitive levels. Energy Minister , Bijendra Prasad Yadav said that despite power sector reforms, different electricity boards were incurring losses to the tune of Rs75,000 crore and Maharashtra, the frontrunner in power sector reforms, alone incurred an annual loss of Rs17,000 crore.

He also criticized the freight equalization policy and said that states like Tamil Nadu were getting coal at a cheaper rate compared to Bihar, and also raised the issue of coal linkages. The minister also said that Bihar needed special assistance for the development of power sector.

Raising the issue of electricity supply to BPL families, he wanted to know who will foot their power bill. The state was committed to provide power to all its citizens. Yadav also said that Bihar had only 19% urban population and, as such, the state was faced with problems different from the more developed and urbanized states.

Electricity regulators from 25 state/joint electricity regulatory commissions are attending the meet to discuss options for the expansion of non-conventional and renewable sources of power, limitations of the conventional energy sources in meeting the growing requirement for power, dwindling resources like coal and petroleum products and the apprehensions raised in regard to atomic power plants