Patna: The power distribution companies in Bihar are pulling up socks to ensure timely payment of bills to the agencies from which they buy power to meet the demands of consumers.
Bihar buys power worth Rs 800 crore per month on average, of which power worth around Rs 550 crore comes from the NTPC.
The distribution companies are supposed to be clear the NTPC’s dues within 60 days of the monthly bill, and a delay in payment attracts fine.
The North Bihar Power Distribution Company Limited and South Bihar Power Distribution Company limited have obtained a bank guarantee of Rs 1,800 crore, which will be used to clear the dues in case of any exigency.
It will be an additional cushion for the power companies.
The state government has said it will give Rs 2,952 crore help for meeting the cost of subsidy given to consumers and a financial help of Rs 1,467 crore to power companies to fight aggregate technical and commercial (AT&C) losses during 2017-18.
The power companies have taken steps to enhance revenue collection. A total of 2,43,973 power connections were disconnected for delay in payment of bills between October 2017 and January 2018.
The companies have also launched spot billing and door-to-door bill collection in rural areas, and are encouraging online payment by offering discount of 2.5 per cent on the timely online bill payment.
“Our aim is to take the monthly revenue collection to at least Rs 700 crore,” said a senior official in the Bihar State Power Holding Company. “At present it is hovering between Rs 600 and 625 crore every month.”
The distribution companies, the official said, were no longer defaulting in clearing their power dues and the long-term goal is to minimise dependence on government support and become profitable entities by streamlining distribution and bill collection works.
Courtesy: The Telegraph