DERC okays AAP's subsidy proposal

The Delhi government was second-time lucky in getting the major subsidy and amnesty scheme – for poor consumers and power bill defaulters – approved by the electricity regulator last week as a similar proposal was shot down two months back.

Sources said the now-approved proposal is a reworked version of the earlier scheme and would not put the entire financial burden of waivers and other concessions on the private power distribution companies.

“The financial burden related to the sops offered to power consumers in slums would now be borne by the government, which wasn’t the case in
the earlier proposal,” said an official.

The private power distribution companies might feel a little uncomfortable with the new scheme as a large chunk of the financial burden from it is likely to be adjusted against the dues that companies’ dues towards government entities, said a power sector expert.

Even the earlier AAP government bonanza of power tariff cut by half for domestic consumers using up to 400 units was settled with the discoms in a similar fashion.
The tariff cut announced in February carries a subsidy of Rs 1,427 crore in the current  financial year and the discoms are not getting any additional monetary help from the government on it.
Under the scheme approved by the Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission last week, for slum clusters, a major constituency of ruling AAP, a complete waiver on late payment charges has been approved.
Additionally, bill amount for such consumers has been fixed at Rs 250 per month from the date of last payment till July 2015, regardless of what their power consumption might have been.
Arvind Kejriwal’s new bonanza for power bill defaulters and other consumers involved in litigation, would also entail waiver of late payment charges and relaxation in outstanding bills.
The beneficiaries will be consumers who took part in campaign against “inflated bills” during Sheila Dikshit government, according to sources.
The one-time settlement scheme announced by the government now means that no late payment will be charged in cases of power theft bill payment.
Those who will pay total bill amount in one go will be given an additional waiver of two-third of the balance outstanding amount.
DH News Service

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