Tariff hike: Disparities in KSEB documents turn headache for Regulatory Commission

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Representational Image | Photo: AP

Kochi: On one side rift between management and officials in KSEB is escalating, while on the other Kerala State Electricity Regulatory Commission is in a puddle of contradicting documents related to the electricity tariff hike.

Interestingly, the left-leaning union alleged that there are disparities in the documents submitted before the regulatory commission claiming KSEB is incurring a loss. The same was corroborated by the documents released by industrial bodies and it even suggested KSEB was lying with data.

At this juncture, if the Regulatory Commission approves tariff revision then it may attract legal issues. Similarly, the commission may demand KSEB to produce accounts audited by Accountant General may be sought.

It is learnt that the Commission will decide on the matter by mid of May.

Notably, the Central Regulatory Commission has reduced the power exchange tariff rate from Rs 20 to 12. Kerala High Tension (HT) and Extra High Tension (EHT) Industrial Electricity Consumers Association opposed the tariff hike and pointed out that the tariff should be reduced.

In the 2022-23 budget, it was pointed out that KSEB expects a profit of Rs 496.20 cr. However, the report submitted to the Kerala State Regulatory Commission disclosed that KSEB will incur a loss of Rs 2,852.58 cr in the current financial year. The data available on the website of KSEB on the 2022-23 budget and the updated budget estimates from last FY also pointed out that the board's operations will be profitable. KSEB is expecting to raise a total revenue of Rs 18,081.52 cr through the sale of electricity and revision in power tariff.

By keeping aside the expenses on buying electricity and those on wages, the updated estimate predicts a profit of Rs 171.77 cr. However, the Aggregate Revenue Requirement (ARR) submitted to the State Electricity Regulatory Commission seeking tariff hike states that by 2022-23, the revenue will be Rs 15,976.98 cr and the expenditure will be Rs 18,829.56 cr. Thereby, the board admits an expected loss of Rs 2,852.58 cr.

The budget shows an outlay of Rs 9,854.32 cr for power procurement in 2022-23. However, in the report submitted to the Commission, it was calculated to be Rs 10,012.35 cr. Further, the depreciation expenditure in the budget is estimated at Rs 1,115.71 cr, and this has come down to Rs 742.89 cr in the report submitted before the Commission.

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