GUWAHATI, Oct 13 - The Assam Power Distribution Company Ltd (APDCL) has proposed levy of a Fuel and Power Purchase Price Adjustment (FPPPA) charge at the rate of 59 paise per unit with immediate effect. The APDCL decision came in the wake of the crisis it is facing because of its debt of around Rs 265 crore.
The State sector power utility owes to the Central sector power utility Power Grid Corporation of India Ltd (PGCIL) a wheeling charge of over Rs 200 crore for the past nine months. It owes to the National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) around Rs 54 crore for the difference between its estimated cost and the actual cost for the power it is purchasing from the Bongaigaon Thermal Power Station (BTPS).
Sources in the APDCL told this correspondent today that the State sector power utility in its board meeting held on September 23 decided to go for realising this FPPPA charge from the power consumers. The decision was adopted by the APDCL board following a PGCIL demand to clear its dues by October 15, 2016 or else to face regulated power flow as per the existing power purchase agreement it had inked with the former.
It needs mention here that the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) approved a new wheeling charge for the PGCIL about nine months back and this raised the monthly wheeling charge bill of the APDCL to Rs 42 crore from Rs 19 crore approved for it by the Assam Electricity Regulatory Commission (AERC).
In the case of the BTPS, the APDCL�s estimated cost for power purchase was Rs 4 per unit. But against it, it is now paying the NTPC around Rs 5.50 per unit.
Thus, as per the FPPPA Regulation, the recoverable gap for the APDCL between July, 2015 and April, 2016 stood around Rs 265 crore and if this is realised from the consumers, each consumer will have to pay an additional amount of 59 paise against each unit of power consumed as FPPPA charge. This will help the APDCL to realise an amount of around Rs 30 crore per month if it is to realise the above amount of around Rs 265 crore from the consumers in the next nine months, said the sources.
However, as per norms, the APDCL has now referred the above decision of its board to the State Government. If the State Government decides to subsidise the APDCL on this account, then the consumers will not be burdened with the additional FPPPA charge of 59 paise, sources said.
On the other hand, if the FPPPA charge is levied on the consumers, the APDCL will have to move the AERC with a prayer to approve its continuation with a retrospective effect. The decision of the AERC in this regard will be final, sources added.
It needs mention here that between August 4, 2006 and August 1, 2015, the AERC has approved the power tariff revision prayers of the APDCL on seven occasions effecting a total hike of about 22 per cent in the power tariff. Between July 1, 2010 and July 1, 2014, the APDCL levied FPPPA charges on its consumers on five occasions and all these charges were later on merged with the power tariff by the AERC while passing the tariff revision orders.
At present, the average power tariff in the State is Rs 6.87 per unit, while for the domestic consumers, it is around Rs 5.12 per unit, sources said.