SRINAGAR: Could the creation of a new trading company out of the Power Development Department (PDD) affect the power tariff in any way? No, says one of the top engineers of the State Electricity Regulatory Commission (SERC) that decides the tariff.
The engineer, who requested anonymity, told Kashmir Reader that electricity traffic is determined by SERC after taking many parameters into consideration. He said these parameters will not change even if the PDD is turned into a profit-driven company.
“Power tariff is decided by us on the basis of input costs, expenditures, etc. This authority will remain with the SERC. The tariff can go up or down on the same basis it used to under PDD,” the official said.
Concerns over hike in power tariff have risen after the JK government has speeded up the process of unbundling PDD into four companies. The decision to do so was taken in 2012 but it only now being put into action, though the unbundling has so far been restricted only to one division of PDD, which will become a specialised trading company, Tradeco.
A senior engineer in PDD told Kashmir Reader that the trading company will be state-run just like other government-run companies. He said it will not be given to a private player and it would be run by a Board of Directors whose chairman would be the administrative head of PDD and its managing director the PDD chief engineer.
He said that the new company will bring transparency and accountability and there will be division of responsibility in an organised manner. He said the revenue will go up not as a result of hike in tariff but due to plugging of pilferage losses.
“What happens now is that people pay only half the charges of what they consume. They do so by hooking on transmission lines and using the illegal power half of the time. This loss will be plugged by the company,” he said, adding that the increased revenue would be utilised in supplying more power to households in J&K.