March 18, 2006, New Delhi, Press Release

The Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) yesterday appointed Pradeep S Mehta, Secretary General, Consumer Unity and Trust Society (CUTS) as Member of the Central Advisory Committee to advise the Commission on the issues related to policy, quality, continuity and extent of services provided by licencees, protection of consumer interests and overall standard of performance by utilities.

In his communication, Mr Ashok Basu, Chairman, CERC has said that the role of CAC is paramount in supporting the mission of the Commission to promote competition, efficiency and economy in bulk power markets, improve the quality of supply, promote investments and advise the government on the removal of institutional barriers to bridge the demand supply gap and thus foster the interests of consumers.

Mr Pradeep Mehta said that the primary challenge before the Commission is to manage the transition, from the existing system of distorted price signals and inefficient allocation of resources to a more rational system of prices and vastly superior quality of supply.

Appropriate Government policies would be needed to create a facilitating macro environment for reform. Increasing consumer awareness of rights and obligations and formulating easily accessible channels of grievance redressal is another area of priority before the Commission, Mr Mehta added.