Srinagar, Nov 24: In a significant development, the administration of the Union Territory has decided to abolish 15 percent electricity duty on consumers to nullify the impact of tariff hike on them.
Addressing a news conference here, Principal Secretary, Power Development Department, H Rajesh Prasad, as per news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO), said that the government has decided to withdraw 15 percent electricity duty on consumers to nullify the impact of tariff hike on them.
“The JERC today approved a 15 percent tariff hike, which will come into effect from December 01, 2023. However, to ensure that the tariff hike does not impact the electricity bill of the consumers, the government of J&K has taken a considerate decision to withdraw the Electricity Duty (ED), which was previously being levied at 15% on energy charges in the existing tariff,” he said.
He said the power demand in Jammu and Kashmir has increased to 3200 MWs while the in- house generation availability is only 1350 MWs.
He added that the power generation in J&K’s power projects usually decreases during winters. “At present, it is 85 per cent low as compared to the summer season. In summers, we had a power generation of 1050 MWs, but now it is only 150 MWs,” Prasad said.
He said a long- term decision has been taken by the government to meet the power demand in Jammu and Kashmir during winters, but added that it will take some time to make sure that the electricity is available here.
He further stated that a substantial financial package of Rs 5000 crores was utilized by the department for the comprehensive up-gradation of infrastructure under various Central Sector Schemes, so that adequate capacities are created in almost every district to provide regular & quality power supply to the citizens.
“To ensure that the newly formed corporations are provided with a clean balance sheet, all the outstanding dues on account of power purchase, accumulated to the tune of Rs. 30700 Crores over several years, were taken over by the Government and cleared by availing soft loans under GOI Schemes like Atmanirbhar Bharat and LPS Rules 2022. Accordingly, a conducive platform has been provided to the discoms to operate on sound business principles and deliver optimal services to consumers, thereby enhancing overall consumer satisfaction levels,” he said—(KNO)