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MESCOM To Hike Electricity Charge

  The Mangalore Electricity Supply Company {Mescom} has made an average hike of Rs 1.33 per unit in power tariff. At a public hearing chaired by Karnataka Electricity Regulatory Commission{KERC} chairman HM Manunatha here on Monday, Mescom managing director Prashant Kumar Mishra said the company has incurred a loss of Rs 473 crore in 2020-21 due to the pandemic and they expect a loss of Rs 718 crore in 2022-23. 

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  Mishra said the annual revenue requirement of Mescom for 2022-23 has been estimated at Rs 4799.93 crore, which includes Rs 2858.44 crore towards power purchase and Rs 769.24 crore for operation and maintenance. However, the revenue from earnings estimated for 2022-23 is Rs 4081.72 crore with a shortfall of Rs 718.21 crore. To bridge the gap, Mescom has proposed an average hike of Rs 1.33 per unit, he said. 

  “Due to Covid-19, industrial production and commercial activities were affected severely, and the sale of power had reduced considerably in 2020-21. Meanwhile, inflation has escalated the maintenance cost for the company too. The company spends 76% of its revenue for the purchase of power, 11% for employees’ cost, 5% for maintenance, 4% each through interests and depreciation,” Mishra said. 

   BA Nazeer, director of Kanara Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) said the pandemic lockdowns have affected the MSME sector, which is the backbone of the nation’s growth.

  “The MSME sector will collapse completely if the power tariff is hiked. The Escoms should find ways to reduce their distribution losses instead of burdening the consumers,” he said and pointed out that the power tariff was revised six months ago. 

   Under the Revamped Distribution Sector Scheme (RDSS) of the Union ministry of power, smart meters will be installed in all government offices, industries, and commercial establishments in the first phase. Later, it will be installed for all consumers, Mishra said.      KERC member MD Ravi said a decision on revising the tariff will be taken next month.

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