Punjab govt continues to default on power subsidy bills
The non-payment of subsidy has created a cash crunch for the power corporation, which is yet to pay bills of the electricity purchase it makes.Updated: Jun 18, 2018 14:31 IST
The state government continues to default on the payment of power subsidy to the Punjab State Power Corporation Ltd (PSPCL), with the outstanding bill for the first two months of the financial year 2018-19 inflating to Rs 1,548.36 crore.
As per the power tariff order, Rs 13,718.02 crore subsidy for the new financial year has to be paid in 12 monthly advance installments of Rs 1143.17 crore each. Of the Rs 2,286.36 subsidy amount for April and may, the government has paid only Rs 738 crore
The non-payment of subsidy has created a cash crunch for the power corporation, which is yet to pay bills of the electricity purchase it makes. The payment of nearly Rs 300 crore for purchase of power from Larsen and Toubro (L&T)’s Nabha thermal plant was not paid till last week. And so was the case with small power producers.
The Punjab State Electricity Regulatory Commission (PSERC) had recently given its nod to the Punjab State Power Corporation Ltd to the charge directly from farmers in case the government fails to pay the subsidy.
PSPCL has also taken up the matter with the government to release subsidy bill arrears and also ensure advance payment as decided by PSERC.
“The power corporation has no intention to charge from the beneficiaries as free power to farmers was the state government’s flagship programme,” said an official, requesting anonymity.
PSPCL chairman-cum-managing director (CMD) Baldev Singh Sran said, “I have met finance minister Manpreet Badal and he has ensured to clear arrears and make timely payments in future. I told him that we need to purchase power, clear freight bills and make other payments to ensure proper supply during the paddy-sowing season.”
First Published: Jun 18, 2018 09:35 IST