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Central Electricity Regulatory Commission
An important regulator of the power sector in India, the Central Government of the country established Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) to fix various types of issues related to power sector and to bring things into right order in the verge of nation’s growth prospects. This Commission is constitutional body and has to function with the power of quasi-judicial status. It comes under the Electricity Act 2003’s Section 76 and is meant to bring the law of the land into best use.
Establishment of CERC held on July 24, 1998. It was under the provision of the Electricity Regulatory Commissions Act, 1998 that is an integral part of the Ministry of Power which monitors the developments. This process continues since inception of this Commission. Key purpose of establishing CERC was to maintain the rational approach for electricity tariffs and to implement transparent policies that relates to the electricity for subsidies, promotion besides ensuring there is no harm to the nation’s environment at any stage.
Multiple issues pertaining to the electricity tariffs were taken into account at the time of CERC’s inception. In fact primary objective was for power tariff regulation and maintaining foolproof transparency with the power generating companies for an effective monitoring by the Central and state governments concerned.
Brief History Of CERC
The Central Government of India took an initiative on July 02, 1998 to recognize the requirements and the total reform in electricity sector for the entire country to implement and apply. It therefore enacted Electricity Regulatory Commission Act of 1998 for the smooth creation of Central Electricity Regulation Commission (CERC). Its purpose was to set the electricity tariffs nationwide and guarantee for the better control of power generation companies through the Central Government. CERC also paved the way for the establishment of State Electricity Regulation Commission (SERC) which must act under the guidance of CERC for overall operation in India.
The founding chairman of CERC was Mr. S.L. Rao who served the commission from 1998 till 2001.
Out of the many achievements ever the step of CERC to enter into an Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for Development from the USA on September 01, 2009 remains at par and the biggest one to notice. It was aimed at maintaining the regulatory into power market and to keep thorough reliability into the grid, transmission and distribution nationwide.
Overall roles and obligations of CERC are monitored by the respective ministries to whom the Commission submits its reports of ongoing tasks and especially the suggestions or guidelines to formulate effective mechanism for everything coming under its jurisdiction especially tariff setting. The purpose is also to ensure that there is speedy and thoroughly time bound tariff petition disposals. Some other areas in which CERC works exclusively are as mentioned below:-
- Promoting competitive spirit in the power sector
- Applying new means and options for the efficient and fast economic growth
- Control and monitoring of bulk power pricing to maintain consistency in the transmission services
- Maintaining minimal cost investments in the power sector
CERC maintains the regulation for tariff plans in the respective states of the country by maintaining orderliness in interstate transmission tariffs. Equally is important its role to facilitate the open access in all interstate transmission for that the role of this Commission is often noticed. This commission also issues transmission licensees to the respective parties.
One of the important roles of CERC is to settle various types of disputes that might occur between power generation companies and the transmission licensees to come up with an appropriate solution. In general this Commission plays active role to improve operations and management of all regional transmission systems under the guidance of Indian Electricity Grid Code (IEGC) and Availability Based Tariff (ABT) amongst others for best electricity usage.
CERC has an important role to play in the form of working as an ombudsman to specify and enforce thorough standard for maintaining quality in services offered and guaranteeing uninterrupted service in the power sector. Maintaining and crosschecking accuracy of service by the licensees are other important roles which this Commission plays from top to bottom.
Last but not the least CERC plays pivotal role to promote and develop power sector for the maximum growth in terms of operation, electricity usage and ensuring the smooth functioning of this sector. Additional functions of CERC are many but a few that remains under the notice are mentioned here for reference:-
- Advisory roles
- National Electricity Policy and Tariff Policy formation
- Timely promotion of electricity industry and its proper investment
- Taking into account miscellaneous issues to deal with from Central to state governments concerned.
The chairman and members of CERC have been disposing excellent services since its formation. Dr. Pramod Deo, Chairperson and Chief Executive remains longest serving electricity regulator of India since June 09, 2008.
CERC is an autonomous body and never ever comes under any pressure of the third parties that could damage the reputation its reputation. The Commission though takes guidance from the parties if intervention required for any solution. It is an independent body and its main purpose is to promote and maintain transparency in the electricity system of the country.