Tata Power today objected to Reliance Infra's multi-year tariff proposal submitted to the regulator MERC, saying it has many hidden charges. RInfra termed the charge as misleading.
Tata Power said in a statement: "The submission by RInfra lacks transparency as it appears that there is no tariff increase, whereas significant increase through wheeling and cross subsidy charges are being pushed in to increase the tariff through back door tactics."
"The proposed tariff by RInfra is anti-consumer and anti-competition as it interferes with the customer's right to switch over to a competitive tariff provider." The company also said it has conveyed its observations to MERC (Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission) on RInfra's multi-year tariff plan submitted to the regulator.
The MERC will begin hearing on both the petitions from tomorrow. In a counter statement, RInfra termed the Tata Power argument as "misleading" and said, the public hearing process of its petition was approved by MERC and the hearing already underway. "Tata Power's objections to tariff hike are misleading and against the interest of smaller consumers of the city," RInfra said.
According to the tariff proposals submitted to the MERC, Tata Power proposes an increase for the low-end consumers (under 100 units a month) from Rs 1.38 currently to Rs 2.60 in FY14 which will touch Rs 3.50 per unit in FY16, while RInfra has not proposed any increase till FY15. It currently charges this segment of customers at Rs 3.50 per unit, which will remain unchanged till FY15 and will rise to Rs 3.74 in FY16. Accusing the Tatas of cherry-picking its customers, RInfra said, "it serves 21 lakh smaller consumers, while Tata Power is cherry-picking only high-end consumers. MERC has already warned Tata Power from cherry-picking of high-end consumers."
Tata Power has further alleged that "stable tariff plan proposed by RInfra is a ploy to protect the interests of its large customers who have been increasingly switching over to its network due to lower costs." "With around 70 percent of our customers being low-end and consuming under-300 units a month and thousands being added each month, the proposed hike by RInfra in wheeling charges could significantly hit the low-end changeover customers who have shifted to us and is thus a vindictive approach of RInfra," Tata Power said.