LUCKNOW, Aug. 8 -- Uttar Pradesh government departments owe more than Rs 12,000 crore in electricity bills to power utilities even as Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday urged states to clear their dues to discoms as soon as possible.
UP's arrears are around 12% or more of the total dues that all states together owe to their discoms in India. The state's discoms are struggling to clear bills of nearly Rs 20,000 crore to power generating companies.
Addressing the closing ceremony of 'Ujjwal Bharat Ujjwal Bhavishya'-Power@2047' programme in Delhi on Saturday, the PM highlighted the financial problems being faced by power utilities and asked states to clear dues as the earliest.
"Different states have dues of more than Rs 1 lakh crore towards power utilities that have to pay this money to power generating companies," he observed. "Many government departments and local bodies owe more than Rs 60,000 crore to discoms," he added.
Acknowledging the problem, minister of state for energy Somendra Tomar said non-payment of power bills by some state government departments was affecting discoms' capacity to pay to the generating companies and this was a matter of concern. "We will soon work out some mechanism to resolve this mess as desired by the Prime Minister," the minister said over phone.
As on March 31, 2022, a huge amount of subsidy to the tune Rs 4,972 crore in lieu of UPPCL supplying subsidised electricity to power looms in the state was pending against the government, as per a presentation (HT has a soft copy of it) made by the energy department to chief minister Yogi Adityanath in April this year.
Besides, Rs 4,261 crore was pending against the urban development department, Rs 2,577 crore against the Jal Sansthan and Rs 1,683 crore against streetlights.
On the other hand, the discoms owed more than Rs 20,000 crore to different power generation companies for buying electricity from them. All the five discoms' accumulated deficit was put at Rs 70,454 crore, according to the same presentation. "The non-payment of power dues by government and non-government consumers to discoms makes it difficult for utilities to make payments to generation companies and this leads to a financial mess, affecting the entire supply chain up to the end consumer," said a senior UPPCL official. Published by HT Digital Content Services with permission from Hindustan Times. For any query with respect to this article or any other content requirement, please contact Editor at email@example.com