Himachal Pradesh may get an expensive electricity shock from April 1. For the financial year 2023-24, the Electricity Board has received a subsidy of Rs 500 crore only.
The Congress government has not made any increase in the gratuity. In such a situation, there is a possibility of increasing the rates of electricity from April 1.
The Electricity Board has sent a proposal to the Electricity Regulatory Commission to increase the rates by 90 paise per unit. The commission will decide the electricity rates for the new financial year on 30 or 31 March.
Electricity can become costlier for domestic consumers on consumption above 126 units. The prices of supplies to industrial and commercial consumers are also expected to increase.
The financial condition of the board has worsened due to giving 125 units of free electricity to domestic consumers. Subsidy is provided by the government to subsidize electricity bills of domestic and agricultural consumers.
In the budget for the year 2022-23, the BJP government had given a subsidy of Rs 500 crore to the board to provide cheap electricity. It was announced during this period to give 60 units free of cost to domestic consumers.
After a few months, the BJP government made electricity up to 125 units free. In lieu of this, a monthly gratuity of 66 crores was given separately.
In such a situation, the board needed a subsidy of about 800 crores to continue the scheme of 125 units of free electricity.
If the government wanted that the electricity rates should not be increased beyond 126 units, then the board was to get a subsidy of about Rs 1100 crore.
In such a situation, it is possible that all categories of consumers may get a shock of expensive electricity in the electricity rates issued by the Regulatory Commission this week.