Ruchika M Khanna
Chandigarh, May 26
The state government today announced a one-time settlement (OTS) scheme for nearly 22 lakh consumers who have not paid their electricity bills worth over Rs 4,400 crore.
This scheme would benefit the state government’s departments the most, besides the domestic consumers. Various government departments owe Rs 2,370 crore to Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) as of March 2023. The biggest defaulters include the Department of Water Supply and Sanitation, Local Government and Rural Development Department, which need to pay around Rs 2,000 crore.
- Government departments: Rs 2,370 crore
- Domestic consumers: Rs 1,100 crore
- Commercial users: Rs 700 crore
- Industrial sector: Rs 500 crore
- Others: Rs 145 crore
While the domestic consumers owe Rs 1,100 crore, commercial consumers need to pay Rs 700 crore.
Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann today said the OTS scheme was for those consumers who defaulted in paying their electricity bills or their power connections were disconnected due to financial constraints.
To continue for three months
The scheme will continue for three months. We are giving a golden opportunity to consumers, especially industrial consumers, whose connections were disconnected following non-clearance of bills or economic compulsions. Bhagwant Mann, chief minister
“The scheme will continue for three months. We are giving a golden opportunity to consumers, especially industrial consumers, whose connections were disconnected following non-clearance of bills or economic compulsions. The interest on delayed payment under the OTS will be charged at nine per cent,” the CM said. At present, interest is charged at 18 per cent.
A total of 2.70 lakh power connections of domestic consumers were disconnected as they failed to clear their outstanding bills (maximum in Bathinda, Mansa and Muktsar).
It has been learnt that no fixed charges would be levied if the period of reconnection from the date of disconnection would be six months or less. If this period is six months or above, then the fixed charges would be charged only for six months.
To facilitate the consumers, the balance amount under the scheme can be deposited in four instalments within a year.
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