Desperate to improve its financial health, authorities of Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) have proposed over 100% increase in its general charges for offering various services to consumers. PSPCL authorities have submitted a proposal to Punjab State Electricity Regulatory Commission (PSERC) which has sought objections from consumers to be filed till March 6.
In its proposal, PSPCL has asked for this increase in charges if a consumer wishes to check the correctness of the electricity meter, shift the meter to another location around the house, resealing the meter or replacements of any kind. Sources said the general charges were revised in May 2005 and implementation was done in October 2008 after an approval from PSERC. PSPCL authorities have claimed in their proposal that their recommendations to increase the general charges are based on the present day pay structure of their staff.
However, this proposal has not gone down well with consumers. "Farmers get free power despite condition of PSPCL having worsened over time. We are forced to pay increased bill charges repeatedly. This shows that PSPCL and Punjab government are blind to problems of the common man," said Raman kumar, a local resident.
Also, PSPCL has proposed to double the amount if any consumer loses the original bill and asks for a duplicate copy. When contacted, chairman-cum-managing director of PSPCL K D Chaudhary justified the proposed hike. "We prepared this proposal after analyzing all aspects for six months. We require money to meet our expenses," said Chaudhary.