(1.) THE petitioner claimed an amount of Rs. 38.61 crore as on 31.1.2003 collectively against Respondent No. 1, Transmission Corporation of Andhra Pradesh Limited (APTRANSCO) and Respondent No. 2, Power Grid Corporation of India Limited (PGCIL) as arrears towards the cost of Eastern Region power exported to the erstwhile Andhra Pradesh State Electricity Board, the predecessor of APTRANSCO during December, 1994 to September, 1996. THE amount included interest up to 31.1.2003. THE petitioner claimed further interest @ 24% per annum on the said amount of Rs. 38.61 crore from 1.2.2003 till the date of payment. THE petition was filed under Clause (h) of Section 13 of the Electricity Regulatory Commission Act, 1998. After repeal of the 1998 Act w.e.f. 10.6.2003, the proceedings were continued under the Electricity Act, 2003.
(2.) By its order dated 25.11.2005, the Commission had constituted a one - Member Bench (hereinafter "the Bench") headed by Shri Bhanu Bhushan, Member to make appropriate recommendations to the Commission for its consideration and decision in view of the complexities involved, on the dispute raised. After elaborate and detailed inquiry, the Bench made its recommendations by order dated 27.7.2006. The substance of the recommendations made by the Bench is reproduced herein below:
26. Considering all the above aspects, I consider it fair to stipulate that APSEB/APTRANSCO shall pay interest at a moderate rate of 6% (six percent) per annum, without compounding, on the outstanding amounts as follows:
(i) On Rs. 3075 lakh, from 1.11.1996 to 30.9.1999, i.e. 3075 x 0.06 x 35/12 = Rs. 538.12 lakh.
(ii) On Rs. 1609 lakh, from 1.10.1999 to 30.9.2003, i.e. 1609 x 0.06 x 48/12 = Rs. 386.16 lakh.
(iii) On Rs. 191 lakh, from 1.10.2003 to 30.9.2006, i.e. 191 x 0.06 x 36/12 = Rs. 34.38 lakh.
27. I recommend that the above compensation amount, adding to Rs. 958.66 lakh shall be paid by APTRANSCO to GRIDCO in three equal instalments, by 31st October, 30th November and 29th December, 2006. The payment for energy exported still outstanding, that is, Rs. 191 lakh as per para 23 above, shall be paid by APTRANSCO to GRIDCO latest by 30.9.2006. If any of the above payments are delayed beyond the dates stipulated, APTRANSCO shall be liable to pay further interest @ 1.25% per month of delay on the outstanding amount.
28. Since only GRIDCO has come to the Commission for redressal of its grievance, and it is the party which has suffered the most, I have proposed above that all payments are to be made by APTRANSCO directly to GRIDCO. As per EREB's affidavit dated 29.9.2003, GRIDCO, WBSEB, DVC, BSEB, Sikkim and PGCIL were to receive Rs. 1583.5 lakh, Rs. 32.9 lakh, Rs. 23.4 lakh, Rs. 82.2 lakh, Rs. 0.7 lakh and Rs. 31.3. lakh respectively out of a total outstanding amount of Rs. 1754 lakh, as in August 2003, as per EREB account. This was before the receipt of Rs. 1418 lakh from APTRANSCO in September, 2003, and its distribution. Member-Secretary, ERPC may, therefore, ascertain if any part of the amount now payable by APTRANSCO should be passed on by GRIDCO to any other constituent and have it ratified by ERPC. GRIDCO should honour the decision of ERPC in this regard.
A copy of the report and recommendations made by the Bench was sent to the parties with a view to affording them opportunity to file their views/comments thereon. APTRANSCO, under its letter No. CE(Comml)/DE-BPP I/Gridco/D. No 221/06 dated 30.8.2006 conveyed its acceptance to the recommendations made by the Bench. The petitioner has also filed its affidavit on 16.10.2006 confirming its acceptance to the recommendations. The petitioner, in its affidavit, has further stated that a sum of Rs. 1.91 crore, the principal amount, was received from APTRANSCO by a Demand Draft sent under letter dated 5.10.2006. In the said affidavit, the petitioner has sought directions to Respondent No. 4, West Bengal State Electricity Board (WBSEB) for refund of an amount of Rs. 45,49,955/- stated to have been received by the latter in excess.
(3.) RESPONDENT No. 3, Eastern Regional Power Committee has sought a clarification whether APTRANSCO was required to make payment to PGCIL instead of the petitioner since in accordance with the original agreement, all payments were required to be made to PGCIL, who was to disburse the amount due to each constituent of Eastern Region. A further clarification has been sought whether simple interest @ 6% per annum recommended by the Bench was payable by any other constituents of Eastern Region, who received amount in excess of its entitlement.;