Shri R.K. Singh, Union Minister for Power and NRE administered the Oath of Office and Secrecy to Shri Jishnu Barua, Chairperson, Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) here today. Shri Jishnu Barua has been appointed Chairperson of CERC vide Ministry of Power’s Order dated 27.2.2023.
Shri Barua was Chief Secretary, Govt of Assam from October 2020 to August 2022. Prior to this, he had been Additional Chief Secretary to Govt of Assam looking after various Departments of State Govt of Assam from August 2017 to Oct 2020. Post retirement, Shri Barua held the charge of Chairperson of Assam Power Distribution Company Ltd. Shri Jishnu Barua holds M. Phil degree in Defence and Strategic Studies, PG (History) Degree and Graduation (Philosphy) degree.
During the interaction with the new Chairperson, CERC, Shri R. K. Singh praised the good work done by Shri Baura during his stint as Chairperson of the Assam Power Distribution Company Ltd and said that the power system in the country has improved significantly in recent years. He added the current capacity is enough to cater to the electricity demand. However, since the economy is growing at close to 7% and the electricity demand at 10%, therefore the power system needs to ready to cater to this increasing demand for the next decade or so. The Union Minister said that with Ease of Doing Business and Transparency, the investments in the power sector has been growing. He however said that there was need to keep working towards ensuring a enabling investment climate in the sector.
Power Secretary Shri Alok Kumar said that India needs a forward-looking and progressive Central Regulator with large-scale integration of renewable energy and Green Hydrogen expected in near future. He also added that the new Chairperson will have a greater responsibility as Chairperson of the Forum of Regulators, where State Electricity Regulatory Commissions are represented, to ensure that Power Utilities and Distribution Companies remain financially sound.
The Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) had been established by the Government of India under the provisions of the Electricity Regulatory Commissions Act, 1998. CERC is the Central Commission for the purposes of the Electricity Act, 2003 which has repealed the ERC Act, 1998. The Commission consists of a Chairperson and four other Members including Chairperson, Central Electricity Authority who is the ex-officio Member of the Commission.
Major functions of CERC under the Act are, inter-alia, to regulate the tarrif of generating companies owned or controlled by the Central Government, to regulate the tariff of other generating companies having a composite scheme for generation and sale of electricity in more than one State, to regulate the inter-State transmission of electricity and to determine tariff for such transmission of electricity, etc. Under the Act, CERC shall also advise the Central Government on formulation of National Electricity Policy and Tariff Policy; promotion of competition, efficiency and economy in activities of electricity industry; promotion of investment in electricity industry; and any other matter referred to the Central Commission by the Government.