M A I N   N E W S

Finally, PSEB is history
* Replaced by two state-owned companies
* Bureaucrat to head units during transition
Jangveer Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 15
Punjab today dissolved the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) and replaced it with two state-owned companies, which will be managed by a six-member committee till the new companies become operational.

The decision, which has come seven years after the new Electricity Act, 2003, called for restructuring of the state electricity utilities along professional lines, has resulted in separation of transmission from generation and distribution functions. The transmission will be looked after by Punjab State Transmission Corporation Limited (Transco), while the generation and distribution functions will be managed by Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (Powercom).

After a formal approval by the state Cabinet today, Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal passed an order dissolving the PSEB and constituted a six-member committee headed by Member Finance Anurag Aggarwal to manage the affairs of the new companies in the transition period. The committee includes Member Distribution K D Chaudhary, Member Administration G S Bachhi, Lehra Mohabbat thermal plant engineer-in-chief G S Chabra, systems operation chief engineer V K Gupta and board secretary M R Aggarwal.

The new companies will be registered tomorrow and they are likely to become functional the following day. Secretary (Power) Arun Goyal told The Tribune that a committee headed by Chief Secretary S C Aggarwal will recommend two names for both CMDs and directors of the new companies. The new officers will be appointed within six weeks.

PSEB Chairman H S Brar, Member Transmission S C Sabharwal and Member Generation G S Sarao will retire in two days. This is because of the government’s decision to consider only technocrats below 60 years of age as of today for the new posts. The PSEB Chairman and the two members are above 60.

The sources said the Chief Minister took a decision last night itself to keep 60 years as the maximum age for appointment of the new officers. The PSEB Engineers Association had stressed that accommodating anyone by allowing entry level beyond 60 years would send a message that the government was not keen on reforming the electricity utility.

Meanwhile, Chief Secretary S C Aggarwal told The Tribune that the government would enter a tripartite agreement with the employees as well as the two new companies to guarantee continuation of the present service conditions in the new companies. The government has assured employees that they would continue to get existing benefits, including pension, gratuity, leave encashment, dearness allowance and annual increment. There would also be no change in benefits to retired employees.

The Chief Secretary, while addressing a press conference after the Cabinet meeting, also disclosed that the new companies would be fully owned and managed by the government. He said there would be no private shares in the companies.

Aggarwal disclosed that post-restructuring the companies would have clean balance sheets as their assets would be unencumbered, enabling them to get more funds from banks and financial institutions.

Preliminary revaluation has pegged the assets of the PSEB at Rs 30,000 crore. With accumulated losses pegged at Rs 10,000 crore, the two new companies will still have equity of Rs 20,000 crore. The process of revaluation is still on and will be completed in three months. The financial restructuring plan will also come about after the revaluation exercise.





HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Letters | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |