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PSPCL battles 40% dip in demand, 54% fall in revenue

Payments did not come through due to the curfew, with only few consumers paying online
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh | By Vishal Rambani
UPDATED ON APR 26, 2020 10:33 PM IST

Patiala Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) is facing a double whammy with demand dipping 40% over the lockdown/curfew period from March 22 to April 22 and revenue collection at only 46%, compared to the corresponding period last year.

Data with the Northern grid shows that the daily average power consumption of the state was 730 lakh units, against the consumption of 1,210 lakh units last year.

“Due to lockdown and curfew, demand has nosedived in the entire country and PSPCL is also suffering. We have sold only 60% of what we sold during this period last year. Usually every year, there is a load increase of 10% every month after February. It hasn’t happened this year,” said a PSPCL official.

He added that during discussion with industry, it was almost a given that it cannot run to full capacity in the near-term, as labour and raw material supply chain was missing.

“Not only industry, even domestic demand has dipped as consumers are not using air conditioners yet, due to the covid-19 pandemic. We also anticipate 20% lower demand from cinema halls, malls, big hotels, restaurants and commercial joints, as these will not operate to their capacity.”

The collection figure during the lockdown till April 22 shows that PSPCL got Rs 650 crore in its kitty, a fall of 54% over last year’s Rs 1,407 crore. Of the Rs 650 crore, Rs 60 crore is advance payment from industrialists upon which the PSPCL is to pay 12% interest. Due to the curfew, just few consumers have paid up and that too only online.

PSPCL chief managing director Baldev Singh Sran said, “The government has been apprised of the financial condition of the PSPCL. The CM has also written to the Centre, asking for a package to help power corporations. Things will improve once the lockdown ends.”

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