Electricity Regulatory Commission removes contentious suggestion on autonomy

By Our Correspondent

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Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala State Electricity Regulatory Commission has updated the draft policy on fixing the rate of electricity. They removed the contentious suggestion that gives autonomy to the distributors to decide the price. With this, the current set-up of a fixed price across the state will continue.

KSEB and its employees' unions had opposed the initial draft. The move supports the Union government's bid for privatising electricity distribution, they alleged.

Notably, other than KSEB, Technopark, Infopark, Cochin Special Economic Zone, Kannan Devan Company and Thrissur Corporation among others are involved in the distribution of electricity in Kerala. They all are distributing it after sourcing it from the KSEB.

The Commission also removed its suggestion to regulate KSEB's electricity distribution outside the state.

At present, electricity is sold outside Kerala whenever there is a surplus. The draft policy entertained the interest of market fundamentalists that surplus should be offered to business and commercial establishments at the rate charged by the Power Exchange. KSEB, in response to this, informed that the proposal will reduce KSEB’s revenue and affect subsidy for the commoners.

People in the business and commerce fraternity welcomed the suggestion on autonomy. It is learnt that market fundamentalists supported the suggestions as it may allow the licensees to sell the electricity at reduced rates than the price sold by KSEB. The Opposition alleged that the state government is entertaining private licensees and it contradicts the LDF policy.

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