Tirupati: In a relief for citizens, the Andhra Pradesh Electricity Regulatory Commission (APERC) has decided not to increase power tariffs across various categories, including domestic and agricultural categories this financial year. APERC chairman Justice C.V. Nagarjuna Reddy announced the decision here on Tuesday after the commission's meeting with the state advisory committee on power tariffs.

"We conducted public hearings on the tariff order through virtual mode, wherein we received feedback from people opposing any hike. Considering this, the commission decided not to raise tariffs," Justice Nagarjuna Reddy said. The tariff freeze comes despite the financial struggles of power distribution companies in the state. Experts said the decision will further stress the discoms' finances. 

Meanwhile, the Indian Railways would incur additional costs for availing power in AP. Justice

Nagarjuna Reddy indicated that power tariffs for the railways would be hiked. This would mean an additional annual expenditure of Rs 100 crore for the transporter.

Elaborating on this, the APERC chairman outlined infrastructure upgrade plans for the state's power sector. "Investments worth Rs 3,500 crore have been approved to modernise electricity transmission and distribution networks. This will help minimise losses and eliminate overloading issues," he stated. The APERC chairman reaffirmed that the commission would continue the policy of providing nine hours of daytime power supply for the agriculture sector. 

The move comes as a major relief for the state's farmers who are dependent on electricity for irrigation purposes. APERC members Thakur Ram Singh and Venkata Rama Reddy, APSPDCL CMD Santhosha Rao and others were present.

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