OTS: UPPCL loses Rs 1800 cr in bid to recover Rs 37K cr from defaulters
In its desire to wrest pending dues from defaulters, the UP Power Corporation Ltd (UPPCL) has ended up losing Rs 1,800 crore that it had to waive off as surcharge (interest) applicable on the bills.
The one time settlement scheme (OTS) that closed on Sunday fetched a revenue of Rs 3,700 crore from around 22 lakh defaulters but at the same time the PCL had to sacrifice its Rs 1800 crore which the defaulters were supposed to pay had there been no OTS.
The UPPCL has, however, claimed the scheme to be successful. “Around 85% of the consumers who registered themselves for the OTS cleared all their dues and this is an achievement,” UPPCL director, commercial, AK Srivastava said.
Grappling with the current deficit of more than Rs 10,000 crore due apparently to rampant commercial and technical losses, the UPPCL had launched the OTS in January, seeking to write off 100% interest on electricity bills provided a defaulter deposited 30% of his total dues during registration for the scheme and rest of the pending amount till December 31, 2018 at one go before closure of the scheme on March 31.
The scheme that aimed to increase the corporation’s liquidity was open to both rural and urban, domestic and commercial consumers as well as private tube wells. The corporation had targeted around 42 lakh defaulters under these categories. They together owed nearly R5,500 crore. But only half the consumers, that is, around 22 lakh registered themselves for the much publicised scheme.
Though the corporation has given four more days to the registered defaulters to pay their dues, till Sunday, 23% of the registered consumers were still to clear the dues under the Agra discom, 20% under the Lucknow discom, 15% under the Varanasi discom and 14% under the Meerut discom.
“The UPPCL did get Rs 3,700 crore from defaulters and more than 85% of the registered defaulters cleared their bills which is no doubt good. But at the same time the corporation lost Rs 1,800 crore due to waiving of the interest,” said an official.
He said the OTS was a bad practice that encouraged dishonest consumers to not pay their bills waiting for the interest waiver scheme to come. “The UP Electricity Regulatory Commission had made similar observations a year ago, saying in future it would not give approval to any proposal for OTS,” he pointed out.