Power subsidy seekers flood PSPCL with beelines

Power subsidy seekers flood PSPCL with beelines
Power subsidy seekers flood PSPCL with beelines

Consumers reduced their load to below 7 KW last year when the previous government announced a rebate of Rs 3 per unit. Starting in July, the AAP government implemented a rebate of up to 600 units of domestic power in the bi-monthly billing.

A total of 75,000 domestic connections have been bifurcated to take advantage of this benefit. PSPCL’s health is being impacted by domestic consumers as well as subsidies for agriculture.

According to the state government, almost 98 percent of domestic consumers have zero domestic bills. Others receive a relief of Rs 3 per unit, making the total subsidised domestic consumers almost 99%.

As a result, the PSPCL depends heavily on the subsidy amount that the government releases in lieu of various subsidies, a senior PSPCL official said.

Many applicants who already have a connection have applied for a new one on the pretext that another family lives nearby.

Occasionally, we receive applications for new connections with the applicant claiming that his son bothers him. According to a top-level official at PSPCL, many others have claimed marital or property disputes.

PSPCL officials said that although they have asked their officers to be strict when releasing new connections, there is little they can do when consumers state that a family dispute is the reason for a new connection.

Energy conservation will be discouraged by the new scheme, according to power experts.

“Most households that consumed 200 units earlier will now consume more power. Experts said that this would increase the government’s financial burden as the same house would consume more power.

As a result of revenue losses, PSPCL had already taken out short- and long-term loans to meet its day-to-day expenses.

PSPCL will be financially impacted if arrears of Rs 9,000 crores from last year aren’t paid from the state government’s budget.

In addition, Rs 1,800 crore of revenue is estimated to be lost as a result of the free supply (Rs 200 crore per month). Arrears will be transferred to the next year as a result of this loss of revenue, which is increasing every month.

“With the rising debt, the PSPCL will be dependent solely on subsidies from the state government,” said VK Gupta, spokesperson for the All-India Power Engineers Federation. As of the next financial year, the Centre intends to restrict state borrowing, including that for power sector reforms, to 3.5 percent of their GDP, down from 4 percent currently. At a time when revenues are falling, this would mean less headroom to borrow.”

The PSPCL has slipped from an A grade to a B grade in the 10th annual ranking report for financial year 2020-21. According to the current ranking, the PSPCL ranks 16th. Any development or maintenance work is hindered by rising debt.

According to the report, PSPCL’s areas of concern include high operation and maintenance costs, low debt service ratios, average collection efficiency of 94.9%, and delays in tariff timelines.