After waiving off famers’ loans, the Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh is all set to roll out an amnesty scheme for power defaulters.
The new programme, expected to be announced by the Uttar Pradesh Power Corporation Ltd (UPPCL) next week, will waive off 100% interest/surcharge on electricity bills pending till March 31, 2017. It will be made available to consumers of all categories in rural as well as urban areas, in a departure from the prevalent practice to allowing benefits solely to rural areas – including farmers – in the form of one-time settlement (OTS) schemes.
Sources said the UPPCL has submitted the proposal to the Uttar Pradesh Electricity Regulatory Commission (UPERC) for approval. Getting the green signal shouldn’t be a problem, considering that the scheme has been prepared in consultation with the regulator.
“We submitted the amnesty proposal to the UPERC on Monday, and the scheme will come into effect from next week – after the regulator gives its nod,” a senior official told HT.
Under the new plan, titled the Delayed Surcharge Payment Amnesty Scheme, the UPPCL will write off 100% of the interest component in the power defaulter’s bill if he/she pays the principal amount at one go. Farmers who have bills pending against their private tube wells will be given an additional benefit of paying the principal dues in four monthly instalments.
All rural and urban consumers – whether domestic or commercial – will be allowed to benefit from the amnesty scheme, through which the UPPCL plans to recover pending non-government dues amounting to Rs 20,000 crore.
An official said the proposed scheme was different from the routinely announced OTS schemes. “This time, the scheme is being extended to non-government consumers of all categories. As the surcharge waiver scheme is coming after a decade or so for urban domestic consumers. Farmers, on the other hand, are getting the option of clearing the principal amount in instalments even under the OTS scheme,” he added.
The interest or surcharge applicable on power dues in Uttar Pradesh is levied at a rate of 1.5% per month for the first three months, and then at 2% for the subsequent ones. If a consumer’s average monthly charges amounts to Rs 10,000 and he hasn’t paid them for the last 12 months, he would receive a bill of Rs 1,35,600 in the thirteenth month – including Rs 15,600 as the interest/surcharge.