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Mumbai, Feb 26: Reliance Energy Ltd’s (REL’s) 25 lac suburban consumers in Mumbai may soon have to pay more for electricity. REL has proposed steep tariff hikes over the next three years — 10.79 per cent in financial year 2007-08, 11.24 per cent in FY 2008-09 and 11.41 per cent in FY 2009-10.

If approved by the Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC), which will rule on it next month, the proposal will come into force from April 1 this year.

REL has proposed a similar hike for commercial and industrial consumers as well.

The proposal is part of the revenue requirement drawn up for the next three years, which will need MERC approval too.

REL has justified the hike by citing a rise in fuel, maintenance, employee, administration and general costs, as well as heavy distribution losses in slums — 15 to 70 per cent.

The new tariff will affect all suburbs, barring Bhandup and Mulund, which are supplied by the Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Ltd (MSEDCL).

MSEDCL will file its multi-year tariff plan separately, while the Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST), distributors for the city district, and Tata Power Company, Mumbai’s bulk suppliers, are also likely to seek hikes.

REL tariffs will rise further if the Appellate Tribunal of Electricity allows it to recover Rs 350 crore given as rebates and discounts to industrial and commercial users. The issue is in court as consumers who didn’t get rebates have questioned why they should be made to pay.


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