Punjab

Power subsidy bill of Punjab may touch Rs. 10000 crore this fiscal

May 19, 2017 07:11 PM

Punjab News Express/Vinod Gupta
CHANDIGARH: The power subsidy bill for the current financial year may touch Rs. 10000/-crore if the arrears of lat years power subsidy and new commitments announced by Punjab Government are taken into consideration.

Last year Punjab State Electricity Regulatory Commission (PSERC) in its tariff order worked out a total subsidy of Rs7598.10 crore which included previous year balance of rs.1233.61 crore. Subsidy was payable in equal monthly advance installments of ₨. 633.18 crore.
Subsequently in the run for state elections electricity concession of 200 units per month to all backward class domestic consumers with load up to 1 KW was allowed from November with subsidy amount of ₨. 315 crore. Another concessional tariff of 499 paisa per unit to SP consumers with subsidy amount of ₨. 29.97 crore was also announced.

This makes total subsidy payable for year 2016-17 by Punjab Government works out to be Rs. 7943.07 crore. As per official information the total subsidy received during 2016-17 was ₨. 5600.70 crore. The shortfall in subsidy payment for 2016-17 is thus Rs. 2342.37crore.

PSERC in its order has allowed continuation of existing tariff order with same conditions till new tariff order for 2017-18 is announced. There has been a report that the new tariff order will be announced only after passing of state budget by the assembly.

This implies that the subsidy payment was to be continued as per 2016-17 patterns. The monthly subsidy bill payable by the government will be ₨. 633.17 crore plus Rs. 49 crore (Rs.682 crore) subsidy amount for categories allowed from November last.

Now the Punjab Government has declared the maximum tariff for 2017-18 will be ₨. 5 per unit and that no consumer of any category will be required to pay a tariff higher than ₨. 5 per unit. As of now, the power tariff across various sections of consumers varies between Rs 5.53 per unit to Rs 8.60”. The subsidy requirement on account of this proposal works out to be about Rs 3200 Cr for 2017-18 which would make the total subsidy requirement as approx Rs 10,000 crore.

As the tariff order is expected in June the monthly subsidy bill may touch Rs. 1000 crore .It is time that government must prune the list of beneficiaries.

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