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High fuel costs could lead to tariff hike: CESC

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KOLKATA, July 29 (PTI): Power utility CESC could look at hiking tariffs owing to high fuel costs, chairman Sanjiv Goenka said on Friday.
Goenka also said the company is expected to post similar growth witnessed in the pre-Covid period during this financial year.
“Input prices have been increasing… We have issues with costs, which are beyond our control, and at some point in time those will be reflected,” Goenka said at CESC’s 44th annual general meeting held virtually.
“Though the company is still not back to the pre-Covid levels (in terms of growth) as on March 31, 2022, but this year, hopefully we should,” he said.
Goenka said the Kolkata-based power utility was one of the few companies that could manage the coal crisis without many glitches.
The Centre has allowed import of coal for up to 10 per cent blending purposes and CESC will go ahead with its plans as per the government order, he added.
In its annual report for 2021-22, Goenka had said fuel cost is a short-to-medium-term constraint, and it is vital that power producers and distributors are able to expeditiously pass on purely the element of higher fuel cost through tariffs.
To a question about inorganic growth, he said, “We are always open to the idea of growth, and we will examine every worthy opportunity that comes our way.”
He also said the Chandigarh distribution is likely to be handed over to the company soon. It had recently bagged its sixth distribution licensing area outside Kolkata in Chandigarh.
The distribution licence will be valid for 25 years.
Apart from Kolkata, CESC has distribution interests in Bharatpur, Bikaner, Greater Noida, Kota and Malegaon.

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