Patiala – People of Punjab are already paying more for the electricity. Punjab State Power Corporation Limited already taking over 20% as surcharges and taxer over a single unit of power. Now, user has to loosen their pocket more for the electricity from the next fiscal year, because PSPCL sought a considerable rise in price hike of power to plug its revenue gap.
In its annual revenue requirement (ARR) submitted to the Punjab State Electricity Regulatory Commission (PSERC) for the financial year 2019-20, the PSPCL has claimed a cumulative revenue gap of Rs 12,118 crore. It has sought to recover Rs 779 crore of it from the consumers.
According to figures, the net ARR has been kept at Rs 34,505.60 crore with the revenue from the sale of power at Rs 33,726.50 crore. This will leave a revenue gap of Rs 779 crore. In addition, the revenue gap for the year 2018-19 will be Rs 10,195 crore while the carrying cost on the revenue gap has been pegged at Rs 1,144 crore. “The cumulative revenue gap will be Rs 12,118 crore. The PSPCL prays to the commission to take an appropriate view on the revenue gap, while deciding the tariff for the financial year 2019-20,” read the ARR.
According to latest calculations, PSPCL may increase ranging from 6 to 15% depending in the clearance from the regulator. State already has one of the highest taxes on power, with every consumer paying roughly 20 per cent as surcharge or taxes on every unit of power consumed. The free power supplied to the agriculture sector and the below poverty line families adds to the bills of the other categories of consumers.
In 2018, the gross revenue requirement was assessed at Rs 32,486 crore with a cumulative gap of Rs 668.91 crore between the revenue receipt and expenditure. The average cost of supply was pegged at Rs 6.55 per unit. The pending subsidy from the Punjab government will exceed Rs 4,200 crore this fiscal.
“Therefore, we have no option but to ask for a hike in power charges as the state government is not releasing our pending subsidy. Due to this, the vital maintenance and development works have to be managed on money taken on loan,” said top officials, preferring anonymity. PSPCL is already under the debt more than Rs. 25500 crore. According to the information, inability of state government to pay the pending subsidy bills was the main cause of debt.