Kejriwal says no hike in electricity tariffs in Delhi for fifth consecutive year; congrats Delhiites

(Eds: Adding quotes of Sisodia, Jain) New Delhi, Jul 31 (PTI) Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Wednesday said there has been no hike in electricity tariffs in the national capital for the fifth consecutive year after power regulator DERC announced a significant reduction in fixed charges. Congratulating Delhiites, the chief minister said the city has the lowest power tariffs in the country and the only place with 24x7 electricity. "Congratulations Delhi For fifth consecutive year NO electricity tariff hike. On the contrary, for fifth consecutive yr (year), tariffs reduced. Delhi has lowest electricity tariffs in the country now," Kejriwal tweeted. Power Minister Satyendar Jain said the chief minister had requested the Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC) to reduce fixed charges three months ago. "Fix charges reduced by DERC. Delhi CM @ArvindKejriwal requested for the same 3 months ago. Thanks to DERC," Jain tweeted. Later, talking to reporters, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia claimed that Delhi is the only state in the country where electricity rates have not increased since 2014. "I want to congratulate Delhiites who chose such a government which did not allow any hike in power rates in the last five years," Sisodia said. He said that in Delhi, a consumer using electricity of up to 200 units per month has to pay Rs 408, but in Gurgaon and Noida, he or she has to shell out Rs 910 and Rs 1,310 respectively. In Rajasthan, one has to pay Rs 1,588 every month for consuming electricity of up to 200 units, but in Mumbai, it is Rs 1,400. Instead of a hike in power rates, there has been a reduction in Delhi, he said. "There is an open loot in these states...there should be a CBI probe," Sisodia demanded. The deputy chief minister said that the DERC's move will benefit every section of the society. The power minister said that the DERC has also reduced power tariff for small traders and professionals such as doctors and beauticians. "Electricity rates have been reduced for small traders and professionals. At present, they have to pay Rs 8.50 per unit for up to 3 kilowatts, but they will have to pay Rs 6 per unit once the new tariff comes into effect," Jain said. The new electricity tariff for 2019-20 were announced on Wednesday by power regulator DERC providing relief to majority of domestic consumers in the city. DERC chairman Justice (retired) S S Chauhan said the new rates would be applicable from August 1. The new rates sought to balance the demands of the power discoms and interests of the consumers, by bringing down fixed charges while raising energy (per unit power) charges. All domestic category consumers will have savings from Rs 105 to Rs 750 per month, depending on their sanctioned load and unit consumption, after implementation of the new rates, DERC officials said. PTI BUN AAR