MNRE Urges SERCs to Allow Online Petition Listing, Start Hearing via Video Conferencing

In order to provide support to the renewable sector in regularizing the matters at SERCs and to safeguard the ongoing investment in the country, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has requested all the State Electricity Regulatory Commissions (SERCs) to consider allowing filing and listing of petitions online and hear urgent matters through video conferencing.

ministry of new and renewable energy (mnre)

The move came after the renewable power developers have informed MNRE that due to the extended nationwide lock-down in the wake of COVID-19, State Electricity Regulatory Commissions (SERCs) have postponed listing and hearing of the petitions.

Also, the renewable energy developers have emphasised on the need for timely filing and disposal of petitions in SERC and have submitted that any delay in relief from the SERCs will adversely affect the financial viability of their projects.

Moreover, they have also cited the precedence of Supreme Court, High Courts and Appellate Tribunal for Electricity (APTEL) starting the online listing and hearing of urgent matters and have requested MNRE to issue advisory to all State Electricity Regulatory Commissions to allow filing and listing of petitions online and hear urgent matters via video conferencing.

Thus, by taking the matter into consideration, the MNRE has issued the advisory to all SERCs to allow online filing of petitions and begin hearing of matters which require an urgent hearing.

Recently, at a virtual meet organized by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), R.K. Singh, Minister for Power, New and Renewable Energy joined leaders from the power sector for a frank and open discussion on the key issues facing the sector.

While discussing on various topics the Minister also gave his own take on the reasons behind Discom losses, which the Ministry of Power has tried to tackle in the proposed amendments to the Electricity Act.

He said that “Tariffs don’t reflect costs. This is because they either don’t file for revision, or they don’t raise tariffs under political pressure. Regulators don’t operate at arm’s length. We are combining selection committees for all SERC’s into a one that will select all SERC benches. The state and central government will have equal representation. Headed by an SC judge, these regulators will be more focused on implementing the law, which has not been happening.”

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Manu Tayal

Manu Tayal

Manu is an Associate Editor at Saur Energy International where she writes and edits clean & green energy news, featured articles and interview industry veterans with a special focus on solar, wind and financial segments.

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