Reacting angrily, Arvind Kejriwal government condemned the regulator's decision to increase the tariff which will come into effect from Saturday. (Agencies)
Before coming to power, Aam Aadmi Party had promised that it will slash the rates of power for Delhiites but did so only in selected slabs, prompting BJP to term it as an "eyewash".
DERC chairman PD Sudhakarsaid that the fuel cost adjustment has resulted in hike in surcharge which will be to the tune of 8 percent for BSES Yamuna Power Ltd, 6 percent for BSES Rajdhani and 7 percent for Tata Power Delhi Distribution Ltd.
"It is a surcharge. We have decided to effect the hike to adjust the power purchase cost of the distribution companies," Sudhakar said. DERC will review the hike in the form of fuel surcharge after three months.
He said power distribution companies are facing financial difficulties and ways must be explored to help them.
The hike will be on energy charges as well as fixed charges but will not be applicable on the additional eight percent surcharge which was levied to help discoms clear the past dues.
Ahead of the power hike announcement, Reliance Infra-backed BSES Yamuna Power Ltd threatened to carry out power cuts up to 10 hours in Central and East Delhi demanding immediate financial assistance and hike in the power tariff. However, it was not clear whether they will still go ahead with the cuts after the hike.
The BYPL's threat was termed as "blackmail" by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal who warned all the discoms of strict action including possible cancellation of licenses.
The Chief Minister also said Tatas and Ambanis, who run three electricity distribution firms in Delhi, were not the only companies in the country and government was willing to bring new players.
"There are no reasons for power cuts. I want to give them a warning that if they try to create panic in future, the government will take strict action against them," Kejriwal said.
After the hike in tariff, a government spokesperson said the "Delhi Government strongly condemns the decision to hike the tariff. When audit by CAG has already been ordered, such a hike is uncalled for."
He said the DERC should have waited for the outcome of CAG audit before putting burden on the people at a time when lot of questions are being raised on the functioning of these power distribution companies.
The DERC had introduced fuel surcharge in 2012 to help the private power distribution companies adjust their power purchase cost.
Reacting angrily, Arvind Kejriwal government condemned the regulator's decision to increase the tariff which will come into effect from Saturday.