Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) was established in 1998 and every year on 24th July the Annual Day of CERC is observed. Since 2014, the Commission has instituted the Annual Day Lecture which takes place on the occasion of CERC Day.
3. On this occasion, Smt. Shubha Sarma, Secretary, CERC highlighted the achievements of CERC in the last one year. She mentioned CERC’s role in dispute resolution and adjudication in the Power Sector. She highlighted the critical role played by CERC in harmonising various regulations across the country through interaction with all State Electricity Regulatory Commissions in the Forum of Regulators (FOR) and developing consensus on issues through discussion and deliberations in the meetings of the FOR. CERC also plays a key role in fostering cooperation and cross fertilisation of ideas since it is the Secretariat for the Forum of Indian Regulators (FOIR) as well as South Asian Forum of Infrastructure Regulations (SAFIR).
4. In his address the Chairperson, CERC, welcomed the Hon’ble Minister Shri Piyush Goyal and, Hon’ble Member of Parliament Shri M.J.Akbar to the event organized to mark the occasion of 17th CERC Annual Day. Chairperson emphasised that institution building and establishment of credibility is a long drawn process. He conveyed that CERC has successfully steered clear of the initial phases and now the Central Commission stands as one of the most credible institutions of the power sector. He credited this achievement to the CERC family, which is small in size but attained great success in its outcomes with quality and speed, matching the speed of Government in pursuing various policy initiatives. He stated that although CERC is a quasi judicial body, it fully recognizes the policies and priorities of Government and endeavours to keep pace with the Government in providing appropriate regulatory support. The achievements of CERC include bringing out regulations, facilitative frameworks, evolving regulatory mechanisms, dispute resolution, to name a few. He detailed the latest achievements of CERC, which include opening up of the trading for 24 hrs, bringing out ancillary services regulations to match real-time balancing of demand and supply thereby further enabling tightening of the frequency.
5. Chairperson, CERC conveyed the stellar role played by CERC in spearheading the activities of the Forum of Regulators. Although FOR is required to meet just once a year, due to the lead taken by CERC, the Forum of Regulators will be shortly holding its 50th meeting, which is a great achievement within a short span of ten years. The FOR deliberates on various critical issues pertaining to the sector besides carrying out studies on critical issues of the power sector.
6. On this occasion, he highlighted the constraints being faced by CERC which includes shortage of manpower and lack of financial independence. He expressed hope that the Government would look into the matter and help the Commission in discharging its functions efficiently. Before concluding, he thanked the dignitaries who graced the occasion.
7. The key speaker for the Annual Day Lecture, Shri M.J. Akbar, mesmerised the audience with his innovative take on the electricity sector (Video of his speech). He argued that the revolutionary transformation of electricity must be viewed in light of its role in fostering democratisation of knowledge. Prior to electricity, life came to a standstill once there was onset of darkness. It was only with the availability of electricity that leisure and, therefore, life after sunset became possible. This resulted in the democratisation of knowledge where even those who were less prosperous were able to access information and knowledge. Shri Akbar also spoke at length about the colonisation of India, end of poverty through knowledge and his interpretation of secularism. Sh. M.J. Akbar touched upon the challenges & priorities at various points of time and underlined the importance of electricity since its invention. He emphasized the role of electricity in enhancing productivity of work, creation of jobs, elimination of poverty and democratisation of knowledge.
8. The Presidential address on this occasion was delivered by Shri Piyush Goyal, Hon'ble Minister of State (IC), Power, Coal and New & Renewable Energy who spoke at length about the key role of Regulators in all sectors and the finely balanced relationship between Regulators and Government. (Video of speech). Shri Piyush Goyal first complimented CERC for completing 17 years of remarkable contribution in the service of the nation. He mentioned that the role of a regulator is that of a bridge between developers and the consumers and the regulator has to balance the interest of both. He expressed his satisfaction that the regulators in India have contributed immensely in this regard. He added that CERC has played a parenting role in the regulatory set up in the country. He complimented CERC for having acted as a benchmark regulator in the country. He narrated five principles of better regulation from International regulatory best practices which are Proportionality, Consistency, Accountability, Transparency and Targeting. He underlined the need for fast decision making and also to keep power affordable.
9. On this occasion, Hon'ble Minister unveiled the new logo of CERC. The logo is symbolic of the changing role of the Electricity Regulator in its journey in the 17 years. The Commission believes that, with the passage of time, especially with the enactment and operationalisation of the Electricity Act, 2003, the role of CERC in the power sector has substantially expanded from merely a “tariff setter” to a “facilitator for development” of the power sector and the market. The new Logo designed by the NID aptly symbolises the present role of CERC.