Despite cheaper power available on the Indian Energy Exchange (IEX), companies from Rajasthan are unable to take advantage due to higher cross-subsidies and additional surcharges besides wheeling charges they have to pay.
According to Rohit Bajaj, head-business development and senior vice-president of Indian Energy Exchange, the average power rates on the exchange during the current year was Rs 2.60 per unit, while industry in the state pays over Rs 8.
“We don’t have many companies from Rajasthan buying power from us. In Tamil Nadu, 1,000 companies are registered with us and 400-450 companies buy power from the exchange on daily basis. Whereas 15-20 companies from Rajasthan tap the exchange power,” said Bajaj.
After Maharashtra, the power cost for Rajasthan industries is highest in the country which reduces their competitiveness. Besides cross-subsidies and additional subsidies, which come to around Rs 2.60 per unit, there are restrictive conditions imposed by Rajasthan Energy Regulatory Authority (RERC).
The restrictive rules ensure that companies are bound to buy power from open access sources like the IEX a fixed quantum for eight hours. But in reality, their demand keeps changing because of their operational dynamics. Secondly, they have to take it for 24 hours. These conditions by RERC are specific to Rajasthan. If a company wants to buy less than 1 MW, it is not allowed.
In an event on Tuesday by FICCI, Rohit Gupta, managing director, Rajasthan Urja Vikas Nigam Ltd, said, “Electricity cost is a major input to the overall cost of industries.