The Telegraph
Wednesday , February 12 , 2014
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Scheme to help power defaulters

Patna, Feb. 11: Power consumers whose connections have been snapped for non-payment of bills have been given the offer of a one-time settlement scheme.

The scheme would entail a 100 per cent waiver of the delayed payment surcharge both for domestic and non-domestic consumers of rural areas, 75 per cent for those in urban areas and 50 per cent for proprietors of industrial units. The scheme would be in force from February 10 to May 31, 2014.

The scheme was cleared by the state cabinet, which met under chief minister Nitish Kumar this evening. The government sanctioned Rs 650 crore to the Bihar State Power (Holding) Company Limited to adjust the arrears accrued on waiver of the surcharge amount.

Briefing reporters after the meeting, principal secretary, cabinet coordination, Brajesh Mehrotra said the total estimated amount to be waived off was Rs 1,480 crore. The scheme would strengthen the revenue collection and also bring consumers within the billing network.

The decision of the government has come as a relief to consumers who had been facing disconnection for long. Hailing the government’s move, president of Bihar Chamber of Commerce and Industry P.K. Agarwal said: “It would benefit a number of industrialists who were in trouble for disconnection of power at their units.”

Other decisions

The cabinet approved the energy department’s proposal for total electrification of villages in 11 districts under the Rajiv Gandhi Rural Electrification Scheme. The cabinet sanctioned Rs 3,130 crore for the project. It also approved the proposal to replace transformers having 25 KVA capacity with those having 63 KVA capacity.

The cabinet gave the go-ahead to the proposal to replace burnt or damaged transformers under the chief minister’s area development fund and the MP area development fund.

Also, the proposal for the state government guarantee on a loan of Rs 2,000 crore from Hudco for the construction of “Ganga Path” in Patna, popularly known as Ganga Driveway, was cleared.