PSPCL power factor surcharge a setback to small industries

  • Vandana Singh, Hindustan Times, LUDHIANA
  • Updated: May 22, 2014 17:08 IST

Small scales industries of Ludhiana got a major setback this month in the form of Power Factor Surcharg e imposed by the Punjab State Power Cor poration Limited (PSPCL) with bills.

The industrialists claimed that this surcharge had added financial burden on the small power connection units.

They said they were not aware about this surcharge and even no warning was given to them before levying the fines.

Power Factor Surcharge is a fine imposed on the industry, if they fail to maintain the Power Factor to 0.90. As per the PSPCL rules, if the power factor is counted less than 0.90, that is say 0.80, then the consumer have to pay a fine called Power Factor Surcharge, but if the power factor goes up than 0.90, then PSPCL pays incentive to consumer called power factor incentive.

Earlier the power factor surcharge was only imposed on medium supply (90kw), large supply (above 100kw) and power intensive connection units, but it was imposed on small-scale industries (20kw) having small connection power supply (SP) on April 1, 2010.

Earlier, the department did not have the electronic meters that could count the power factor. But these were installed in a phased manner till this year, and the power factor surcharge was calculated from 2010 till date, and added to the bills.

Jaswinder Singh Thukral, president of the Janta Nagar Small Scale Manufacturers’ Association, said, “If the department has to calculate the power f actor, the small connection power connection holders should be informed in advance.

But now, the department has calculated the power factor from 2010 and sent the power factor surcharge by adding them to bills without any warning.

Jaswinder Singh said t he introduction of power factor on small-scale industry was an extra burden on them, as they had to spend thousands of rupees to install shunt capacitors, to manage the power factor.

The association members also met the chief engineer Raschpal Singh and requested him to take the matter with higher authorities, and find a solution so that the small-scale industries could survive.

Gurmeet Singh Kular, zonal chair man of PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industries, Ludhiana, said, “This act of PSPCL is unjustified and will burden the industry. The industrialist should be made aware before imposing power factor surcharge. Moreover, the power factor may remain different in every month; it may be less than 0.90 or even more than 0.90. Thus, on what basis, the department has counted the surcharge?”

PSPCL power consultant Charanjit Singh said, “This act is not justified on consumers end. As per the rules, a warning notice should have been served to the consumers before levying the penalty on them. The department cannot exchange the meters on time, and they cannot at once burden the consumers without creating any awareness about the rules.”

PSPCL chief engineer Rashpal Singh said, “Proper notices were given in newspapers, e t c. , for consumer awareness. Consumers were aware of the fact that they have to maintain power factor and now when the department has implemented the rules they are making unnecessary hue and cry.”

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