Decision on power tariff hike to be taken by end of Assembly session

SN Jayaprakash 

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Representative Image | Photo: Mathrubhumi

Thiruvananthapuram: Days after the hike in water cess and fuel tax, the state government is now gearing up for an electricity rate hike. Although the electricity board secured an operating profit of Rs 736.27 crores in the last financial year, the consumers shall not get its benefit.

“The electricity board sought a hike in rates as the cumulative loss, which accumulated over the years, reached a total of Rs 19,200.39 crores,” Power Minister K Krishnankutty informed the Assembly the other day.

Apparently, both the board and the state government had portrayed the Kerala State Electricity Board’s (KSEB) profit as a major achievement. The benefits of the same were promised to the consumers as well. However, the stance of the government states otherwise.

The board’s request for annual hike in rates is currently under the consideration of the regulatory commission. An action will be taken in this regard soon after the Assembly session ends on March 30.

According to the board’s demand, there should be an increase of 41 paise per unit next year. It should be hiked by 31 paise in 2025. The present rate will expire on March 31.

The rate was increased by 6.58 percent in June to generate an additional revenue of Rs 1010.94 crore annually. However, since the decision came into effect only by the end of June, the board estimates that it will only get an additional income of Rs 760 crore this year.

Meanwhile, the board has been charging an additional 9 paise per unit as surcharge. The regulatory commission has approved of the same till May 31.

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