Herculean task: Recovery of Rs 575 cr from power defaulters

Herculean task: Recovery of Rs 575 cr from power defaulters

The Covid-19 induced slump has resulted in accumulation of power tariff default to the tune of Rs575 crore for the PSPCL thereby prompting it to launch an ambitious one-time-settlement (OTS) scheme. Photo for representation only

Neeraj Bagga

Tribune News Service

Amritsar, June 8

The Covid-19 induced slump has resulted in accumulation of power tariff default to the tune of Rs575 crore for the PSPCL thereby prompting it to launch an ambitious one-time-settlement (OTS) scheme.

Powercom has to recover Rs575 crore from 6,720 defaulters of the Border range. The border range comprises Tarn Taran, Gurdaspur, besides Amritsar. The matter of concern for Powercom officials is that so far only 240 defaulters —12 government and 228 non-government — have come forward to deposit Rs10.46 crore. The collected amount is meagre in the face of a whopping Rs575 crore.

Skatter Singh Dhillon, Chief Engineer, PSPCL (Border Range), said the scheme was only for those defaulters, who had failed to pay the tariff prior to December 31, 2020. He said the impact of Covid-19 induced restrictions creating an economic crisis cannot be ruled out in some cases.

He said OTS committees of Powercom officials would be constituted to reach out to defaulters and encourage them to pay the defaulting amount. For this, penalty interest of 18 per cent has been curtailed to 12 per cent.

A defaulter on the condition of anonymity said he had set up a cottage unit at home after taking advances from a bank and relatives at the fag end of 2019. Some months after this novel coronavirus struck and all his dreams of becoming self-employed were shattered. “During the last 14 months, his earning remained in doldrums but expenditure rather increased in terms of power tariff, school fee of two kids, increase in the cost of raw material and on other heads.

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