With three days left for the current financial year to end, the state government-run MP West Zone Electricity Distribution Co Ltd is struggling to meet its revenue shortfall of over Rs 1,000 crore for 2014-2015.
The MP West Zone Electricity Distribution Co Ltd (west discom) supplies electricity to Indore and Ujjain divisions.
The company's annual revenue (minus the government subsidy) stands at Rs 6,000 crore against the target of Rs 7,228 crore. The revenue shortfall thus stands close to Rs 1,228 crore.
West discom managing director Nand Kumaram said efforts were on for more recovery.
Like other state discoms, the west discom has been reeling under losses since its formation in 2002. Discoms’ financial losses even worried the MP Electricity Regulatory Commission which in its annual tariff orders asked them to control their expenses and improve accounting system.
West discom officials said delayed monsoon, unseasonal rains and hailstorm over the last one year damaged crops and as a result, the aggrieved farmers didn't pay electricity bills.
With 12 lakh agriculture connections under its jurisdiction, the company didn’t get the return it expected.
As per the government scheme, agriculture (electricity for irrigation) bills are paid twice a year. In April 2014, west discom received Rs 170 crore against the billed amount of Rs 240 crore. In October last year, it received Rs 225 crore against bills worth Rs 244 crore.
Another factor is electricity purchase cost. The discom purchases electricity from the MP Power Management Company at the rate of Rs 4.60 per unit and supplies at rate of Rs 4.02 per unit, losing 58 paise per unit in the bargain. On an average, it supplies 166 crore units of electricity per month.
Though it receives government subsidy of Rs 185 crore per month, power thefts, transmission and distribution losses and political patronage to wilful defaulters have prevented west discom to tide over its losses.