PATIALA: The All India Federation of Engineers (AIPEF) in a letter to the Chief Minister of Punjab and Minister of Finance of Punjab urged release of pending payments owed to Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) due to the lifting of arrears for domestic consumers, the increase in the electricity subsidy due to the benefits granted to domestic and industrial consumers.
VK Gupta spokesperson, AIPEF, said that PSPCL’s financial situation is continuously deteriorating due to non-payment by the government of Punjab and that a stage could reach where payment of employee salaries could be. challenged. Corrective action should be taken by the government of Punjab as a matter of urgency.
The PSERC tariff decree for the 2021-22 fiscal year established a total subsidy of Rs 17,796 crore, including the arrears of the previous year and clearly mentions that the payment of Rs 1,386.33 crore for April and May and Rs 1502.36 crore per month from June to March 2022 should be made each month in advance.
Now, PSPCL in the ARR for the next fiscal year has submitted a revised grant payment estimate for the year 2021-22 amounting to Rs 12,245 crore. On this basis, the total grant amount payable to PSPCL becomes Rs 19,420 crore and the government has paid Rs 9,395 crore until December 15th of this year.
After the issuance of the tariff order for 2021-2022, in the event that the state government grants an additional subsidy to a category of consumers, it is incumbent on the government to file a request with the PSERC for the modification of the tariff order. The current practice of the government of Punjab as well as the PSPCL to circumvent the PSERC is contrary to Article 65 of the Electricity Law of 2003 and is therefore illegal.
The government of Punjab has reduced MS Consumer Fixed Fee by 50% subsidy of Rs. 3.00 per unit, including excise duty for domestic consumers with load up to 7KW, and 300 free units per unit. months for the successors of the freedom fighters and the waiver of arrears of domestic consumers with a load up to 2KW.
The total benefits for the current fiscal year are Rs 2,759 crore. Electricity bills amounting to around Rs 2,000 crore against the ministries are also pending. The total amount of the balance payable to PSPCL during this fiscal year is approximately Rs 13,160 crore.