Revised power tariff in Kerala to be fixed in May after public hearings

No power disconnection over dues during lockdown
The hike in power tariff will come into effect only if the appropriate order is issued by the Regulatory Commission. Representative image/Shutterstock

Thiruvananthapuram: The revised power tariff will come into effect in Kerala from May. The Kerala State Electricity Regulatory Commission will seek the opinion of all stakeholders, including the consumers, by conducting public hearings in four centres of the state prior to the implementation of the revised power tariff.

The earlier plan was to implement the hike in tariff from this April. But under the present circumstances, the issuance of the order, after conducting the public hearings, will become a reality only by April-end or by early May.

There are legal hurdles in effecting the tariff hike with retrospective effect.

The first public hearing of the Regulatory Commission will be held in Kozhikode. Though the date fixed for the first hearing is on March 28, there might be chances of postponement of the hearing in view of the strike planned by the Central trade unions on the above-said date. As per the schedule, the hearing will be held in Palakkad on March 30, in Kochi on April 1, and in Thiruvananthapuram on April 6.

The KSEB sought a substantial hike in power tariff per unit and in the amount of fixed charge. The Regulatory Commission is going to decide on the tariff hike of the KSEB for the next five years.

The public hearing by the Commission will enable the consumers and consumer organisations to present their case with the support of documentary proof against the power tariff hike.

Only if a maximum number of people utilises such an opportunity, there will be chances of the Regulatory Commission setting aside a huge power tariff hike proposed by the KSEB.

After getting feedback from people through hearings, the Commission will fix a reasonable hike. The KSEB will then be given a chance to give a reply to the Commission's decision. Then after studying both the KSEB's reply and the opinion given by the state government, a final order on the power tariff hike will be issued by the Regulatory Commission.

Since the present Regulatory Commission chairman Preman Dinraj is set to retire on July 17, all proceedings related to the power tariff hike will have to be completed before his date of retirement.

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