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TSERC virtually defunct as govt fails to appoint chairman

TSERC virtually defunct as govt fails to appoint chairman
Highlights

As no efforts have been made by the State government to appoint members and chairman, the Telangana State Electricity Regulatory Commission (TSERC)...

Hyderabad: As no efforts have been made by the State government to appoint members and chairman, the Telangana State Electricity Regulatory Commission (TSERC) has become virtually defunct.

There would be no tariff revision for the next financial year as the Commission is not in place. The government may continue the present tariff to the power consumers for the next financial year also.

However, experts of the power sector are raising doubts over the continuation of the present tariff as even that has to be permitted by the TSERC. They said that if anyone approaches courts, the government would be in a soup.

The Electricity Act of 2003 mandated establishment of the Electricity Regulatory Commissions to govern the functioning of the power distribution companies of the states.

Andhra Pradesh Electricity Regulatory Commission (APERC) has been established in 2003 during the combined State period and the TSERC has replaced it in Telangana after the bifurcation of the State in 2014.

The TSERC examines the Aggregate Revenue Requirement (ARR) of the power distribution companies of the state and finalises the tariff order.

The ARR would be submitted in November every year and the new tariff order would be issued in March of the subsequent year.

However, the ARR submission has been deferred in last year. The government decided to continue the tariff order being issued by the TSERC for 2017-18 in 2018-19 financial year.

The distribution companies are supposed to submit the ARR in November of this year so that revised tariff order could be issued for the 2020-21 financial year.

With no commission in place, revision of tariff may not take place for the next financial year. Center for Power Studies convener M Venugopal Rao told The Hans India that the government did not initiate the process to appoint new chairman and members to the commission.

He said that the term of the member (technical) expired two years ago and the member (finance) a year ago. The term of the chairman expired in January this year.

He said that as per the rules of the Electricity Act–2003, the government has to initiate the process to appoint the chairman and members six months prior to the expiry of the term of the members and chairman. However, no such process was initiated in Telangana.

Experts of the power sector said that as there was no Commission in place, the Discoms may face financial troubles as the revenues gaps would not be addressed.

They said that it is the Commission which is the only authorised panel to permit the filling up of the revenue gaps

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