Punjab power default tab climbs, govt and Majha region on top

  • Vishal Rambani, Hindustan Times, Patiala
  • Updated: Feb 05, 2015 10:36 IST

Already strapped for cash, bad news is piling up for the Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL), as the defaulters’ tab has climbed to Rs 875 crore till December this fiscal. Leading the dubious charts again is the state’s SAD-BJP government and its departments, while close on its heels are border districts from the SAD-dominated region of Majha.

The total — after calculating some recoveries and rising dues for the current fiscal — thus is Rs 88 crore, added to last fiscal’s figure of Rs 787 crore till December.

Government departments have an outstanding bill of around Rs 296 crore, up from the Rs 194 crore till December 2013. Amritsar municipal corporation has the biggest share at nearly Rs 89.6 crore. “Defaulters are increasing due to the high tariff,” said an official, but he added, “PSPCL can recover the bills but politicians, fearing loss of votes, create hurdles when we start taking action.”

He said that the default bill is more than Rs 232 crore from Majha region’s Amritsar, Tarn Taran, Gurdaspur and Pathankot districts. Following this is the west zone — Bathinda, Muktsar, Faridkot and Ferozepur — at Rs 164 crore.

“On government departments, we always take a lenient view, as most of them are educational institutes, hospitals or other offices directly linked with day-to-day dealing with the public. If we act, the public suffers,” the PSPCL official, requesting anonymity, added.

Amount under litigation has climbed from Rs 226 crore to Rs 241 crore, despite a disputes committee holding a one-time settlement meeting.

Shocker: Electricity bill dues

What they owe to Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL)

Total till Dec ’14: Rs 875 crore, up from Rs 787 cr till Dec 2013.

Govt departments: Rs 296 crore, up from Rs 194 crore.

Amritsar MC: Rs 89.6 crore, the largest share from govt sector.

Majha region: Rs 232 crore, from Amritsar, Tarn Taran, Gurdaspur and Pathankot districts.

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