Union Government Criticizes Kerala’s Electricity Regulatory Commission for Rule Violations

The Kerala State Electricity Regulatory Commission (KSERC) has come under criticism from the Union Government for its alleged non-compliance with the Indian Electricity Act’s provisions and regulations. Specifically, the Centre has accused KSERC of not adhering to its directives, particularly in relation to adjustments in electricity tariffs.

The Ministry of Power has also pointed out that KSERC has failed to meet the prescribed timeframes for services like providing electrical connections and installing meters, among other responsibilities. The Union Ministry has requested a response from KSERC within the next 15 days.

According to the Indian Electricity Act, when the Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) applies for a revision in power tariffs, KSERC is obligated to issue an order within 120 days. However, the Centre asserts that KSERC has not issued these orders as required this year, citing an ongoing case in the High Court as the reason for the delay.

Additionally, KSERC is reported to have violated established rules by not issuing an order in response to a petition requesting a review of the board’s income and expenditure accounts for the fiscal year 2021-22.

Furthermore, the Centre’s cross-subsidy tariff policy imposes a limit on power rates included in the electricity bill, not exceeding 20 paise. However, the Centre claims that KSERC has violated this regulation by collecting amounts exceeding the allowable limit from both small and large-scale industrial consumers in Kerala.

Kerala has also not established a specific rate for green energy produced from eco-friendly sources nor has it adopted a policy for procuring green power from outside the state. In contrast, the Centre argues that KSERC has contravened central regulations by mandating the purchase of a certain quantity of electricity from renewable sources.

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