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Punjab’s power subsidy bill now stands at Rs 16,400.26 crore | Ludhiana News

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PATIALA: Even as the average cost of power for the year 2020-21 has come down by 18 paise a unit, the state’s subsidy bill for the current fiscal has risen by 53 % of the Annual Revenue Requirement of the Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) and now stands at Rs 16,400.26 crore. The subsidy bill has been approved by the Punjab State Electricity Regulatory Commission (PSERC) in its latest tariff order which was announced on Monday.
The commission has determined the annual revenue requirement (AAR) of PSPCL power corporation as Rs 31,100.62 crore against a demand for Rs 41,720.97 crore. The subsidy bill for the year 2010-21 is of Rs 10621.21 crore, while the carryforwards (pending dues) from previous years make it Rs 16400.26 crore, which the state government has to clear by March 2021.
The rise in the subsidy bill is being attributed to a hike in the cost of power bring supplied to around 14 lakh agricultural connections in the state which consume 12334 million units during the year. The regulator has hiked the cost of power by 9 p per unit or Rs 22 per BHP per month for the agricultural connections. Besides, it has also imposed Rs 370.33 crore surcharge on AP consumption for non-clearing of the dues by the state government.
Last year, the state subsidy bill was Rs 9674.54 crore with carryforwards of Rs 5297.55 crore. The total subsidy bill for 2019-20 was Rs 14972.09 crores which has now swelled by another Rs 1428.17 crore.
The commission in its order passed on March 18, this year, had asked the power corporation to continue with the existing tariff till the tariff order for FY 2020-21 was issued. Thus, the state government is now liable to pay the PSPCL a sum for Rs 1268.57 crore per month for April and May, while the balance amount of subsidy of Rs 13863.12 (16400.26 -2537.14) crore is required to be paid in advance in 10 monthly instalments that have been calculated at Rs 1386.31 crore from June 2020 to February 2021 and Rs 1386.33 crore in March 2021.
While calculating the cross-subsidies, the PSERC has noted that the state government will be providing free power worth Rs 6810.51 crore to the agricultural connections, Rs 1599.87 crore to the LS supply consumers, Rs 1263.37 to the Scheduled Caste (SC) domestic supply (DS), backward class DS consumer will get free power worth Rs 173.10 crore, medium supply consumers will get a subsidy of Rs 165.51 and the small power industrial units will get Rs 162.41 crore against the concessional tariff of Rs.4.99 unit. The non-SC BPL DS consumers will get Rs 75.58 crore and the freedom fighter will get Rs 0.83 crore as subsidy on power during the current fiscal.

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