MP - Consumers to bear shock of electricity bill waiver

Sunday, 08 July 2018 00:00 Lathish PV
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MPThe brunt of waiving off electricity bills of unorganized workers by the state government would fall on general consumers. The waiving off electricity bills will put financial burden of Rs 5200 crore. The state government would be compensating only 1800 crore as subsidy.

The power distribution companies would have to bear the remaining 3400 crore. This amount include surcharge to the tune of around Rs 1600 crore and Rs 1800 crore will be borne by three power distribution companies. Central region power distribution company is currently in loss of Rs 1200 crore while Eastern region power distribution company is facing a loss of Rs 1000 crore. Western region power distribution company presently is in profit of Rs 500 crore but it will also come in loss with waiving off electricity bills.

There was no provision in supplementary budget of money to be given to these companies by the government in return of waiving of bills. The supplementary budget, passed during Monsoon session, has waiving of electricity bills and charging only Rs 200 per month, as its head, but there is no provision of any money.

According to sources, the state government would give its share on electricity bills waiver after assembly polls. It is also decided to give this share in three installments. Amidst all this, it is taken as certain that power distribution companies would hike power tariff next year.

The power distribution companies had proposed a hike in power tariff this year but it was not accepted. These companies, in order to adjust the deficit caused by waiving of electricity bills, will have to go for steep hike in power tariffs next year.

Power distribution companies chairman Sanjay Shukla said whether it was waiving off bills or the scheme of giving 1000 watt electricity for Rs 200 to poor, it would not cause big loss to the companies. He said the companies will face loss by waiving off surcharge or the money they have to bear but the loss would be compensated by receiving money charged on electricity bills of Rs 200.

Shukla said the government was giving surcharge along with half of the money. According to sources in finance department, the money to power distribution companies, will be arranged after elections. The finance department has asked these companies to arrange money through loan. Power distribution companies have taken around Rs 2500 crore as cash credit from the banks. If they went for more loan, then its interest would put further load on them.