Private parties to handle energy billing in rural Bihar from July
The move is aimed at cutting down power theft in a big way and increase the monthly revenue of power companies by Rs 30-40 crore.patna Updated: Jun 09, 2017 19:25 IST
Power consumers in rural areas of Bihar may soon expect to get their monthly energy bills on time and with fewer discrepancies. This hope has been raised as the Bihar state power holding company is all set to assign the work of billing for rural consumers to private operators.
There are 30 lakh power consumers in rural areas of the state.
The move is aimed at increasing the revenue of the power companies and sustain their financial commitments, following the state government’s recent move to provide subsidy on power directly to consumers, instead of routing it through financial grants to power companies.
Confirming the move on billing, R Lakshmanan , managing director, Bihar state power generation company limited, said the initiative under the rural franchisee concept would be implemented by July. “ The tendering process has started and work will be assigned after the selection of the private parties,” he said.
Lakshmanan said the new billing system would fetch the power companies an additional Rs 30-40 crore in terms of monthly revenue, which at present stood at Rs 100 crore from rural subscribers.In total, the power companies earn a monthly revenue of Rs 500 crore from different categories of subscribers, including urban domestic households, industrial consumers and the railways.
Officials said the billing process going to private hands would check anomalies in meter reading of rural consumers and also bring in transparency, as subscribers would have to show more financial discipline in paying bills on time or pay fines.
In urban areas, the power companies have already given the work of billing of domestic and industrial consumers to private operators in a bid to shore up revenue.
The Bihar government has already signed a MOU with the centre under UDAY scheme for financial and operational turnaround of distribution companies, trying to bring down its debt portfolio and also cut down AT &C losses through smart metering and a slew of others steps.