Amid speculation regarding revision of electricity tariffs, the Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) has come out with a statement on the precarious state of its finances.
The KSEB said it was facing a loss of 11 paise on every unit of electricity sold, as it carries out its responsibility to society by providing electricity at low rates to the weaker sections and farmers. The daily loss on this account comes to ?71.5 lakh, according to the power utility.
Citing audit figures for 2019-20, the KSEB pegged its net loss at ?12,104 crore. Although the Kerala State Electricity Regulatory Commission (KSERC) has recognised a revenue deficit of of ?6,862 crore, the KSEB has not been permitted to recover it fully though its tariffs.
On another front, the arrears on electricity bills due to the KSEB stood at ?3,200 crore. Of this, government departments/agencies accounted for ?1,200 crore. The Kerala Water Authority (KWA) alone owes ?817 crore, the KSEB said.
The KSEB pointed out that the present speculations regarding the tariff revision were baseless. The KSERC, through the KSERC (Terms and Conditions for Determination of Tariff) Regulations, 2021 published on November 11, has directed the KSEB to submit the Aggregate Revenue Requirement (ARR) and tariff proposals by December 31. The KSERC will finalise a decision only after holding public hearings and making the necessary revisions, according to the KSEB.
The KSEB pointed out that the State was facing a shortage of 100 to 300 MW during peak evening consumption hours. The deficit was met through purchases from the power exchanges to avoid load-shedding and power cuts. The power utility has sought the public’s cooperation in reducing consumption during the evening hours.