Chandigarh: The Punjab State Electricity Regulatory Commission has said mobile tower and telecom infrastructure companies in the state can get power at industrial rates only if the difference between industrial and commercial tariffs is borne by the government.
This was stated by the commission in its order disposing the petition filed by Reliance Communications and Reliance Infratel Ltd, seeking industrial tariff for their mobile towers set up in Punjab.

The Commission noted that the state government can subsidise any category of consumers, but will have to compensate the power supplier.

"There is no doubt that state government can subsidise any category of consumers but it has to compensate the supplier in the manner the Commission may direct," it said.

However, the Commission observed that Punjab government had not given any commitment so far despite requesting the state's Department of Industries and Commerce to clear its stand in this regard.

"The Government of Punjab, Department of Industries and Commerce did not respond even after getting the hearings adjourned a number of times for about a year," the commission stated.

PSERC further said though certain Commissions in states like Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Orissa provide certain tariff incentives to the mobile tower and other telecommunication infrastructure, but that does not entitle the petitioner (Reliance Communications and Reliance Infratel) also to be categorised as industry or 'Mixed load Tariff' category.

The industrial tariff for 2012-13 in Punjab is 510-561 paise a unit, while power rates for commercial or Non- Residential Supply (NRS) category is 603 paise a unit.


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