GUWAHATI, Feb 16 � The State Government has sanctioned an amount of Rs 187 crore as assistance to the Assam State Electricity Board (ASEB) for overcoming the crisis faced by the Board and its successor companies following the hike in the natural gas prices and also to help it purchase power at an enhanced price from the market during the lean hydro season.
According to ASEB sources, the assistance to overcome the situation resulted from the rise in the natural gas prices is meant for a period of six months till March next. The Government has sanctioned an amount of Rs 138 crore, at the rate of Rs 23 crore per month, in this respect.
An amount of Rs 49 crore to make the power purchase during the lean hydro season, at the additional cost of Rs 2.50 per unit, has also been sanctioned by the Government.
Both the above amounts were sanctioned on January 27 last, and the money is expected to be received by the Board within the current week, said the sources.
It needs mention here that the Board proposed to raise the power tariff by around 0.70 paisa per unit of power following the hike in the natural gas prices and sought assistance from the Government to overcome the situation without affecting the power consumers. It also asked for assistance for procuring power in the lean season.
Sources said that in case the Government fails to continue with its assistance at the rate of Rs 23 crore per month to help it overcome the situation arising out of the hike in the natural gas prices, the Board would be compelled to effect the hike of around 0.70 paisa per unit of power with effect from July next.
The Board would then go as per the Fuel and Power Purchase Price Adjustment Regulation notified by the Assam Electricity Regulatory Commission (AREC) on December 28, 2010, sources said.
It needs mention here that the new natural gas prices came into effect in July, 2010.