THE UTTAR Pradesh Power Corporation Ltd (UPPCL) on Thursday clarified that it had not revised tariff rates for powerloom consumers and only changed the mode of payment for electricity bills in the powerloom sector.
“The State government had been providing subsidy for the powerloom consumers for the past two years. The UPPCL in no manner changed the tariff plan for the powerloom consumers as is being alleged by the Uttar Pradesh Electricity Regulatory Commission (UPERC)”, A K Khurana, Principal Secretary and Chairman UPPCL told reporters here on Thursday.
He said that during the past two years the UPPCL had given a discount of Rs 5,000 per annum on every weaver’s electricity bill. During the current fiscal (2006-07), only the “concession amount” for the electricity bill due from the weavers was enhanced with a decision to take meter readings on a half-yearly basis. Khurana said that in its reply to the UPERC filed on Thursday, the UPPCL said that the total electricity bill charged from the powerloom consumers during the past few years had been in the range of Rs 38 to 39 crore.The government had only enhanced the subsidy provided to the powerloom consumers from Rs 7 crore to Rs 30 crore without tampering with the tariff structure, he said.
He said that as per the Electricity Act 2003, the subsidy for the electricity consumers should be available well in advance. “The UPPCL made a provision of Rs 27 crore to be required as subsidy for 2006-07, while the government made an enhanced provision of Rs 30 crore in the 2006-07 supplementary budget which would be accounted in the budget of 2007-08”, Khurana said.
He said that regarding policy matters in public interest, the UPERC had to be guided by the directions of the State government under Section 108 (1) of the Electricity Act 2003 which states that“If any question arises as to whether any such direction relates to the matter of policy involving public interest, the decision of the State Government thereon shall be final”, he said.
Khurana said that UPPCL employee Rajat Prasad posted had been sacked for accepting a bribe of Rs 6,000 from a consumer for replacing a damaged transformer after the act was shown by a TV channel. SDO J S Tripathi of UPPCL had also been suspended, he added.