6.8

Method of determination of Power Purchase

6.8.1

The power purchase by the DISTCOs are metered at various grid sub-station’s end and the DISTCOs are billed according to the meter reading at these points. Actual figures of billing raised by GRIDCO to the DISTCOs for the past 10 months of the year 2001-02 are already available. This can be prorated for a period of another two months for the financial year 2001-02. This will go a long way in determining a realistic cost of power purchase. In stead of going for any other method of energy assessment, the Commission decides to adopt the principle of actual cost of power purchase from the transmission company as the base for determination of the cost of power purchase for the year 2001-02.

6.8.2

As far as the FY 2002-03 is concerned, the Commission will go by the growth rate projected for the various classes of consumers by the DISTCOs at different voltage level viz. LT, HT & EHT and calculate the incremental power requirement over and above the FY 2001-02.

6.9

Determination of expected revenue

6.9.1

The quantum of energy to be sold will be determined after deducting the units deemed to have been lost in distribution applying the bench-mark loss level adopted by Kanungo Committee and accepted by the Commission. On the quantum of energy to be purchased by the DISTCOs the percentage of distribution loss as approved by the Commission shall be applied to determine the quantity to be sold during the financial year. From the saleable energy for the year, units estimated to be sold at EHT i.e. zero loss energy would be deducted to arrive at the quantum of energy to be sold at HT and LT combindly. The expected revenue from sale of power shall be calculated separately for EHT and combindly for HT & LT. EHT revenue shall be calculated by multiplying the EHT rate with the EHT units. The revenue from HT and LT sale shall be calculated by multiplying the average rate of HT and LT rate with the number of units to be sold combindly at HT and LT. Thereafter, revenue at EHT and from HT and LT consumption will be added to determine the total expected revenue for the year. The gap between the estimated revenue requirement and the expected revenue will represent the depict in revenue which need to be funded through interim financing or through tariff.

6.9.2

NESCO in its clarification dated 30.03.2002 to the queries raised during the course of public hearing furnished the average rate per unit billed to various classes of consumer based on the billing of the first six months of the FY 2001-02 under affidavit the extract of which is given in the table.

Table : 13 : 13
Average Revenue based on actual billing of 1st six months of 2001-02 submitted by the licensees

WESCO

NESCO

SOUTHCO

CESCO

Category of Supply

Average Revenue (Rs/Unit)

Average Revenue (Rs/Unit)

Average Revenue (Rs/Unit)

Average Revenue (Rs/Unit)

LT

2.49

2.37

2.42

2.53

HT

3.84

3.52

3.67

3.79

LT & HT Total

2.89

2.79

2.74

2.83

EHT

3.60

3.15

3.90

4.64

GRAND TOTAL

3.17

2.86

2.89

3.05

Table-14
Average Revenue as per the (format T-7) estimated sale to various consumers for 2001-02 submitted by the licensees

WESCO

NESCO

SOUTHCO

CESCO

Category of Supply

Average Revenue (Rs/Unit)

Average Revenue (Rs/Unit)

Average Revenue (Rs/Unit)

Average Revenue (Rs/Unit)

LT

239

221

228

251

HT

360

316

304

363

LT & HT Total

275

253

247

274

EHT

362

270

353

297

GRAND TOTAL

303

256

263

276

6.9.3

The average rate projected by the distribution companies in the tariff filing for the year 2001-02 and 2002-03 obviously does not present the correct picture of the per unit rate by their own admission (Table 13) the average per unit rate is much higher compared to their estimate given in Table 14. It is appropriate to take into consideration the average rate per unit as reported by them based on their billing of the first six months of the year 2001-02 given in Table 13 rather than accept the average rate based on estimates furnished in form T-7 of this tariff file.

6.9.4

Collection efficiency of DISTCOs

6.9.4.1

For the purpose of determination of expected revenue, the sale figure will be determined assuming an overall loss percentage for the year 2001-02 as per para 6.11.2

6.9.4.2

Since the FY 2001-02 has come to an end, the Commission this year shall only determine the revenue gap, if any, for recovery during the future years. The Committee of Independent Experts had also recommended that the reality in the level of billing and collection in the present Orissa situation by the distribution companies be recognized. For this purpose, they had suggested that 78% should be accepted as the collection efficiency for the base year 2001-02 going upto 95% by the year 2005-06. The Committee had recommended that the cash gap be funded by interim financing other than debt.

6.9.4.3

The Commission considers that the level of collection of 78% is no means satisfactory as there is a huge backlog of Government dues to be received by the DISTCOs. The Commission considers that with receipt of Government dues the collection efficiency will increase to 85% for the year 2001-02. In the neighbouring states the collection efficiency of the utilities is above 95% so also is the position in Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka. The Commission also recognizes that the entire amount on account of non-collection should not be treated as bad debt as this will further raise the revenue requirement. Acceptance of the entire uncollected dues of a particular year therefore cannot be written off as bad and doubtful debt and cannot be treated as a pass through for next year tariff. This will accentuate the burden on the paying consumers of the state. The distribution companies have to bolster their machinery for improving collection of revenue for which they need State Government support for law and order issue. To translate this into action, the Commission fixes a yardstick for collection efficiency 85 %for the year 2001-02 and 87.5 % for the year 2002-03.

6.9.4.4

The shortfall in revenue collection for the FY 2002-03 calculated at collection efficiency level of 87.5% works out to Rs.268.75 crore on an expected revenue of Rs.2150.04 crore (Table-16). On the other hand the receivables against energy charges from the various departments of the Government and State PSUs has piled up to more than Rs.230 crore within a period of three years of operation of the DISTCOs since 01.04.1999. The Government Departments and State PSUs should clear up the outstanding dues of DISTCOs by routing the payment through GRIDCO. This shall be adjusted against the power purchase and loan liabilities of DISTCOs due to GRIDCO which will improve the liquidity of the power sector in Orissa.

6.9.5

Summary of revenue requirement of DISTCOs for FY 2001-02 & 2002-03

6.9.5.1

For the FY 2002-03, the Commission will consider the cost of power purchase on a realistic basis as projected by the distribution companies and calculated the expected revenue to be calculated assuming a loss reduction of 5% from year to year i.e. from 42.21% in 2001-02 to 37.21% in 2002-03 though the figures will be varying across the four zones. Similarly, the level of collection efficiency should be considered at the level of 85%. All other terms and conditions with regard to the method of determination of expected revenue as explained on the para above for the year 2001-02 shall apply for year 2002-03 also.

6.9.5.2

Accordingly, a summary of purchase sale and expected revenue for the year 2001-02 & 2002-03 is approved as per the details below.

Table-15
FY 2001-02

PURCHASE & SALES BY DISTCOs BASED ON 10 MONTHS (ACTUAL)

Purchase (MU)

Loss (%)

Sale (MU)

Av. Rate Rs/kwh

Rev. (Rs. Crs.)

CESCO

4167.77

40.94%

2461.485

3.05

744.70

NESCO

2253.62

46.98%

1194.8693

2.86

341.95

WESCO

2980.64

41.08%

1756.1931

3.17

549.15

SOUTHCO

1525.07

40.89%

901.46888

2.89

260.90

TOTAL

10927.10

42.21%

6314.02

3.02

1896.70

Table-16
FY 2002-03

EXPECTED PURCHASE & SALES BY DISTCOs BASED ON 10 MONTHS ACTUAL

Purchase (MU)

Loss (%)

Sale (MU)

Av. Rate Rs/kwh

Rev. (Rs. Crs)

CESCO

4321.00

35.94

2768.03

3.05

841.55

NESCO

2291.20

41.98

1329.36

2.86

381.26

WESCO

3066.54

36.08

1960.13

3.17

616.66

SOUTHCO

1682.39

35.89

1078.58

2.89

310.57

TOTAL

11361.13

37.21

7136.10

3.02

2150.04

6.9.5.3

The Commission does not accept the figure of expected revenue calculated by the DISTCOs for the FY 2001-02 as well as for the FY 2002-03 and determines the expected revenue for various DISTCOs for the aforesaid period as indicated in Table-13 and Table-14 respectively for the FY 2001-02 and 2002-03 subject to any variation on account of change in direct sale to consumers at EHT.

6.10

Operating Expenses

The operating expenses for distribution and retail supply may be considered under the following heads:-
Employees Cost Administration & General ExpensesRepair and Maintenance ExpensesLess expenses capitalized

6.10.1

NESCO in OERC Form No.TRF-21 (2002-03 filing) has submitted various components covered under employees cost for the FY 2000-01 on the basis of audited accounts and have made projection up to the FY 2002-03. The employees cost chargeable to revenue was Rs.45.48 crore as per the audited account for the FY 2000-01 which has been projected to go up to Rs.50.85 crore during FY 2001-02 and Rs.54.64 crore for the FY 2002-03. In the ARR filing NESCO stated that the employees cost have been estimated in the ensuing year on the basis of actual/audited expenses incurred during 2000-01 and actual/forecast during current year.

6.10.2

Commission analyse the figures based on the audited accounts submitted by the licensee and consider it appropriate giving 3% rise on the basic pay per annum over the audited figure of FY 2000-01 to determine the basic pay for the year 2001-02 as well as 2002-03.

6.10.3

As regards DA, the Commission is aware of the fact that the rate of DA allowed by Government of Orissa is 41% with effect from July 2000. This rate is continuing now and no increase in DA rate has been announced by State Government, although Government of India in the mean time has allowed two doses of DA over and above the prevailing rate of DA of Government of Orissa. The prevailing of DA of Government of India is 49% with effect from 01.01.2002. Commission in view of the above decides to consider the prevailing rate of 41% of calculation of DA for the financial year 2001-02 and 2002-03. However, any increase in rate of DA in future will be allowed to be recovered through tariff with retrospective effect.

6.10.4

All other allowances as claimed by the licensee are found reasonable and accepted. Keeping these observations in view the Employees costs have been recalculated as indicated in the table below.

Table : 17
Details of Employees Cost
(Rs. in crore)

Sl. No.

Particulars

Prop. By licensee 2001-02

Approved by Commission 2001-02

Prop. by licensee 2002-03

Approved by Commission 2002-03

1

Salaries

25.46

25.46

26.22

26.22

2

Over time

 

 

 

 

3

Dearness Allowance

11.46

10.44

13.64

10.75

 

Sub-Total

 

 

 

 

4

Other Allowance

0.43

0.43

0.45

0.45

5

Bonus

 

 

 

 

6

Total Emoluments (1 to 5)

37.34

36.32

40.30

37.42

 

Other Staff Cost

 

 

 

 

7

Reimbursement of Medical Expenses

0.83

0.83

0.86

0.86

8

Leave Travel Concession

0.19

0.19

0.21

0.21

9

Reimbursement of H.R.

4.20

4.20

4.33

4.33

10

Interim Relief of Staff

 

 

 

 

11

Encashment of earned leave

1.54

1.50

1.66

1.54

12

Honorarium

 

 

 

 

13

Payments under Workmen Compensation Act

0.02

0.02

0.02

0.02

14

Ex-gratia

 

 

 

 

15

Other Staff Cost

 

 

 

 

16

Total Other Staff Cost (7 to 15)

6.79

6.74

7.08

6.96

17

Staff Welfare Expenses

0.03

0.03

0.03

0.03

18

Terminal Benefits (PF)

5.87

5.70

6.33

5.87

19

Gratuity

1.34

1.30

1.45

1.34

 

Total (6+16+17+18+19)

51.36

50.10

55.19

51.63

 

Less : Employees Expenses Capitalised

0.51

0.50

0.55

0.52

 

Net Employee Cost

50.85

49.60

54.64

51.11

6.10.5

The Commission approves Rs.49.60 crore and Rs.51.11 crore towards employees cost to be charged to revenue for the year 2001-02 and 2002-03 respectively.

6.11

Repair & Maintenance Expenses

6.11.1

NESCO has proposed an expenditure of Rs.16.32 crore in their RST application for the FY 2001-02 and Rs.19.36 crore in the ARR for the FY 2002-03 towards repair and maintenance expenses.

6.11.2

As per the audited accounts for the year 2000-01 the total R&M expenses was Rs.13.95 crore. NESCO estimated R&M expenses for Rs.16.32 crore and Rs.19.36 crore for the years 2001-02 and 2002-03 @ 5.4% of the Gross Fixed assets at the beginning of the year.

6.11.3

The Commission examined the licensee’s proposal on R&M expenses and considers it reasonable to allow 5.4% of gross fixed asset as at the beginning of the year. As per RST and ARR filing the gross fixed asset as on 31st March, 2001 and 2002 would be Rs.302.21 crore and Rs.363.80 crore respectively. Accordingly, the Commission approves Rs.16.32 crore and Rs.19.36 crore for the year 2001-02 and 2002-03 respectively towards R&M expenses which is 5.4% of the gross fixed asset at the beginning of the financial year.

Table : 18
(Rs. in crore)

2000-01

2001-02

2002-03

Commission’s Approval

NESCO’s Proposal

Commission’s Approval

NESCO’s Proposal

Commission’s Approval

14.22

16.32

16.32

19.36

19.36

6.12

Administration & General Expenses

6.12.1

NESCO has proposed Rs.7.19 crore and Rs.7.52 crore towards A&G expenses for the year 2001-02 and 2002-03 respectively in their RST and ARR applications. These expenses include expenses on communication, professional charges, property related expenses, conveyance and travelling, training, other expenses and material related expenses. The A&G expenses are said to be based on actual expenses incurred during current year and budget estimate for ensuing year.

6.12.2

The Commission has examined the licensee’s proposal on A&G Expenses. A&G expenses as per the audited accounts for 2000-01 submitted by NESCO was Rs.7.98 crore. The Commission in its last tariff order of 2000-01 approved Rs.5.91 crore towards A&G expenses, considering 8% increase over the approved figure of 1999-00 to compensate for inflation.

6.12.3

Objectors in general expressed concern about rising trend in A&G expenses and requested that this expenditure should be kept under control preferably limiting to the percentage hike of about 5%.

6.12.4

The Commission finds the projected A&G expenses rather excessive with reference to earlier expenditure particularly considering the volume of transactions which has not increased. The projection includes lease rental of Rs.148.50 lakhs for the year 2001-02 and 2002-03. There is no justification of lease rental for meters when meters have been taken under financial lease.

6.12.5

A&G expenses include a sum of Rs.97.75 lakhs as expenditure related to organisational development expenses. The Commission appreciates introduction of innovative schemes particularly those which are participative, consumer friendly and aims at reaching the rural consumer while safeguarding financial interest of the company. But at the same time, Commission observes that the benefit accruing on account of introducing the scheme should offset the expenditure proposed to be incurred. The tangible benefits like improvement in percentage of billing and collection, reduction in bad debt, reduction of transmission and distribution loss, etc. should have been projected along with the proposed expenditure. The licensee should have particularly brought out the additional revenue earned from the area where the micro-privatisation scheme is in operation over the corresponding figure of the previous year. Such exercise has not been carried out.

6.12.6

The Commission, therefore, considers it reasonable to allow an increase of 5% per annum over the approved figure of 2000-01 to compensate for inflation and approves an amount of Rs.6.21 crore and Rs.6.52 crore for the year 2001-02 and 2002-03 towards A&G expenses respectively.

Table : 19
(Rs. in crore)

2000-01

2001-02

2002-03

Commission’s Approval

NESCO’s Proposal

Commission’s Approval

NESCO’s Proposal

Commission’s Approval

5.91

7.19

6.21

7.58

6.52

6.13

Interest on Loan

6.13.1

NESCO has proposed an amount of Rs.41.40 crore for the year 2001-02 and Rs.45.90 crore for the year 2002-03 towards interest on loans taken from GRIDCO, World Bank and Power Bonds to be charged to revenue. The interest amount on the loan from GRIDCO has been calculated as per the loan agreement with NESCO. The interest amount on loan from World Bank has been calculated @ 13% per annum as per the subsidiary loan and project implementation agreement with Government of Orissa. Interest on Power Bonds worth Rs.167 crore issued in favour of GRIDCO/NTPC w.e.f 1st October 2000 towards power purchase liability and loan repayment liability has been calculated @12.5% per annum.

6.13.2

NESCO has stated that only the interest on loan drawn during the year for capital works has been capitalized. NESCO proposed an amount of Rs.31.14 crore and Rs.34.00 crore to be drawn from World Bank during the year 2001-02 and 2002-03, the interest on which would be capitalized in the respective years.

6.13.3

In addition to above, NESCO has proposed an amount of Rs.52.13 crore and Rs.25.65 crore towards interest on working capital for the year 2001-02 and 2002-03 respectively. NESCO has tried to justify the claim of interest on working capital with a plea that they have not been able to get any working capital loans from any financial institution/banks due to their poor financial conditions. In turn, they have not been able to pay to GRIDCO the full amount of electricity bill for which they have to pay DPS @ 2% per month on the outstanding amount of power purchase bills which has been claimed as interest on working capital.

6.13.4

It is noticed from the Form F-27 of the filing that Rs.13.48 crore relate to interest on loan advanced by GRIDCO, Rs.7.04 crore relates to interest on loan from World Bank and Rs.20.88 crore relates to interest on loan taken from Power Bond totalling Rs.41.40 crore which is charged to revenue for the year 2001-02. Similarly NESCO proposes Rs.14.84 crore towards interest on loan advanced by GRIDCO Rs.10.18 crore towards interest on IBRD loan and Rs.20.88 crore towards interest on bond issued to GRIDCO totalling Rs.45.90 crore for the year 2002-03.

6.13.5

The Commission examined the calculation and also the audited accounts of 2000-01 submitted by licensee. While comparing information in Form F-27 with that of F-3, it is revealed that the licensee has converted a portion of GRIDCO's BST receivables into power bond for which interest has been charged under the head, power bond. Simultaneously, interest has also been claimed for that portion of loan under the head 'loan' advanced by GRIDCO'. After carrying out necessary correctives, the interest on the loans advanced by GRIDCO has been reduced to Rs.9.02 crore for each of the years as against Rs.13.48 crore and Rs.14.84 crore claimed by the licensee.

6.13.6

The World Bank loan has been treated as 30% grant and 70% loan according to which interest has been reduced from Rs.7.04 crore claimed by the licensee to Rs.4.38 crore for the year 2001-02. Similarly, applying correctives as mentioned above the interest burden on World Bank loan has been reduced to Rs.7.12 crore from Rs.10.18 crore for the year 2002-03.

6.13.7

The power bonds issued by the licensees in favour of GRIDCO has been assumed to be resecuritized at 8.5% tax free bonds from 2001-02. Accordingly, interest has been calculated @8.5% as against 12.5% claimed by the licensee. In this perspective, the Commission allows Rs.14.20 crore towards interest on bonds for each year of 2001-02 and 2002-03 as against Rs.20.88 crore proposed by the licensee.

Table : 20
(Rs. in crore)

Loans

2001-02

2002-03

NESCO’s Proposal

Commission’s Approval

NESCO’s Proposal

Commission’s Approval

 

 

With correctives

Without correctives

 

With correctives

Without correctives

GRIDCO

13.48

9.02

9.02

14.84

9.02

9.02

World Bank

7.04

4.38

6.26

10.18

7.12

10.18

Power Bond

20.88

14.20

20.88

20.88

14.20

20.88

6.13.8

The Commission while considering the capital base as provided in the Sixth Schedule of the Act, 1948 made provision towards working capital on which the licensee is entitled to get reasonable return. Moreover, the licensee can get rebate on prompt payment from GRIDCO @ 2% per month which will reduce its power purchase liability. In essence, if the licensee arranges working capital from the commercial and financial institutions it can save DPS as well as earn rebate from GRIDCO which will compensate the interest on working capital and may accrue some amount in the form of adding revenue. Hence, the Commission disallows the interest on working capital as claimed in the retail tariff and ARR by NESCO.

6.14

Depreciation

6.14.1

NESCO has proposed depreciation of Rs.23.46 crore and Rs.28.26 crore for the year 2001-02 and 2002-03 on an asset base of Rs.302.00 crore and Rs.363.80 crore respectively at the beginning of the year. It has adopted the straight line method as prescribed by Central Government, Ministry of Finance, Notification No. SO-765-E dtd. Nov. 6, 1997.

6.14.2

The provision of depreciation was raised by many of the objectors during the course of the hearing.

6.14.3

One of the objectors claimed that depreciation should have been calculated on the basis of notification of Ministry of Power, Government of India of March, 1994 and not on notification dated 6.11.97 of Government of India. He stated that asset being second hand, the rate of depreciation has to be determined by the competent Government in each case "having regard to the nature, age and conditions of the assets at the time acquisition". He had also made a point that in case of 30-40% of the total assets procured by/transferred from OSEB, depreciation upto 90% of asset value must have been recovered on which no depreciation should be charged further. He also raised the issue of maintaining the fixed asset register and stated that cumulative depreciation of any asset should not exceed 90% of the original cost of asset.

6.14.4

The Commission noted the objections raised during the course of hearing, the rejoinder submitted by the licensee, took note of the auditor's observations for the year 2000-01 and stated that depreciation was being calculated at post-94 rate as prescribed by Government of India on the asset base that was revalued on 01.04.1996. The Government of India Notification on depreciation issued in pre-1992 links the rate of depreciation to the age of the assets. The Commission in the public interest decides that the licensees will be allowed to recover 90% of the asset value within the life period of the asset as per Government of India Notification of 1992. This will avoid front loading of the tariff, but at the same time will ensure necessary cash flow for the licensee over a longer period of time. Accordingly, the Commission directs that the depreciation of the assets should be limited to 90% of the revalued cost of the assets. Depreciation will be calculated on the balance portion of life of the asset after deducting accelerated depreciation already claimed from 01.04.1998 to 31.03.2000.

6.14.5

The Commission took note of the observation noted in the audit report for the year 2000-01 that the gross block of fixed assets and the depreciation on the same are subject to finalization. Moreover, the Fixed Assets Register has not been maintained and individual break up of fixed assets is not available.

6.14.6

The Commission directs NESCO to comply with the observation raised by their statutory auditors before 31st of August, 2002 i.e. well before the filing of revenue requirement (15 December to 31 December 2002) for the year 2003-04. Once an asset register is prepared, the value and provision on fixed assets and provision of depreciation can be properly ascertained.

6.14.7

According to Electricity Supply Act, 1948, depreciation for the year should be calculated on the gross fixed assets existing at the beginning of the year. The Audited Accounts of NESCO for the year 2000-01 reveal that the gross fixed asset of the licensee as on 31.3.2001 is Rs.302.21 crore. It has been estimated to be Rs.363.80 crore as on 31 March 2002.

6.14.8

As mentioned in para 6.4.4 the depreciation has been recalculated on the basis of pre-92 rates prescribed by GOI notification on the asset base as above. The Commission approves provisionally depreciation of Rs.11.38 crore for the year 2001-02 and Rs.13.72 crore for the year 2002-03.

Table : 21
Calculation of depreciation
(Rs. in crore)

Year

2001-02 (Provisional)

2002-03 (Estimate)

Opening balance

302.21

363.80

Asset addition

61.59

50.11

Closing balance

363.80

413.91

Depreciation

11.38

13.72

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