UPPCL grapples with cash gap, courtesy Rs 10,700 cr outstanding on govt depts

Shocking it may sound but the track record of government departments in paying electricity bills is worse than that of private consumers.

lucknow Updated: Mar 12, 2018 15:57 IST
Brajendra K Parashar
Brajendra K Parashar
Hindustan Times, Lucknow
UPPCL,UP Power Corporation Ltd,Jal Sansthan

Shocking it may sound but the track record of government departments in paying electricity bills is worse than that of private consumers.

With UP Power Corporation Ltd (UPPCL) beginning its 15-day drive to snap power supply of consumers whose outstanding bills are more than Rs 1 lakh, a big challenge before it is to realize dues worth over Rs 10,700 crore of government departments alone.

Faced with an increasing cash gap, the UPPCL has even warned that it might be a problem for it to maintain smooth power supply during summers if the government departments did not clear their outstanding bills by March 31.

A fund-starved corporation has told the government that it is short of cash to purchase any additional electricity from generating companies to meet the summer demand.

The UPPCL last month gave a presentation to the chief minister on the power dues pending against various government departments.

Apart from energy minister, Srikant Sharma, principal secretary to chief minister, SP Goyal and agriculture production commissioner, RP Singh principal secretaries/secretaries of a dozen departments participated in the meeting.

“Through the presentation, we showed that the bill payment by the government departments was only 51% against the total 87% revenue realization,” said a UPPCL official.

As per the presentation, the total outstanding against the government departments was Rs 8,853 crore on March 31, 2017, which was expected to increase to Rs 10,756 crore by the end of March this year.

“We pointed out at the meeting that UPPCL’s cash gap is increasing due to government departments not making regular bills payments and if the situation continued like this, the corporation might find it difficult to purchase additional power to meet summer demand,” he said.

The UPPCL officials also pointed out that UP was the number one state as far as the amount of electricity bills pending against the government departments was concerned. “This is despite the fact, that the state government is contract-bound under UDAY to ensure 100% dues clearance by the departments,” said sources.

The departments of urban development, basic education, Jal Sansthan, health and home are among the major defaulters.

“The UPPCL requested at the meeting that departments should not only ensure 100% payment of their current bills but also 50% of the arrears by March 31.

Sources, however, said not many departments had yet cleared their bills. “Now, the UPPCL management has directed discoms MDs to start disconnecting supply of government departments if they are not clearing their dues. Only hospitals will be spared for now,” sources said.

First Published: Mar 12, 2018 15:57 IST