Financial crunch at the UP Power Corporation Limited (UPPCL) appears to have cast its shadows on employees with the utility stopping payment of various post-retirement benefits like gratuity, commutation and even government provident fund (GPF).
The peculiar situation has affected some 1,000 employees who retired in the last few months, essentially in the last three months and have since been waiting for the UPPCL management to budge and grant the due benefits. Arif Haider, president of UPPCL headquarters union, said not only the employees even officers have been suffering. He said a corpus of around Rs 1,000 crore was created at the time of trifurcation of the then state electricity board.
Haider said the corpus gradually got depleted and now the employees are in crisis. On an average, the employees have been getting a gratuity and other pension benefits mounting to not less than Rs 15 lakh to Rs 20 lakh. This way, the total benefits amounting to around Rs 200 crore are supposed to be lent out by the UPPCL.
This is the first crisis for UPPCL employees, who otherwise enjoy one of the best salary structures in the state government set up. Earlier, the corporation stopped payment due towards the sugar industries amounting to around Rs 600 crore citing financial crunch.
A senior UPPCL official said the corporation was passing through one of the worst phases where in most of the payments had been stopped. "Only some of the essential and immediate requirements are being served under the present scenario,'' said the official.
The UPPCL management, in fact, has been seeking funds under the Centre's power sector restructuring scheme where in Rs 15,000 crore are proposed to come through in phases. More over, the corporation is also hoping to mop up its coffers by raising the power tariff which is proposed to be applicable soon.