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October 1, 2022



Free electricity burden in Punjab: Powercom will have a burden of Rs 7000 crore, 50 percent of annual revenue depends on subsidy

3 min read

Delay in payment of various subsidies is creating financial difficulties for Powercom. Powercom has to take loans from banks to meet its expenses. At present, Powercom has a loan of 17000 crores.

With the announcement of providing 300 units of electricity free of cost, Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PowerCom) will have an additional financial burden of Rs 7000 crore annually. The special thing is that after this decision of the government, now more than 50 percent of the annual income of Powercom has become dependent on subsidy. Experts believe that in such a situation, if the Punjab government does not pay the subsidy on time as per its old attitude, then Powercom may face severe financial difficulties.

According to the data received, the annual The amount of subsidy being given to other categories including free 200 units for SC / BC, free electricity for agriculture, 5 rupees per unit electricity for industry was about 13000 crores annually. With the new announcement, the subsidy amount will increase to 20000 crores. Providing 300 units of free electricity will increase the additional financial burden of 7000 crores annually on Powercom, while the subsidy amount of about 9000 crores of Powercom is already due to the government. Of these, 2300 crores of outstanding electricity bills of government departments, boards and corporations are there. Apart from this, 1300 crores of free 200 units to SC / BC category every month and 38 crores of 300 units to the heirs of freedom fighters, 1600 to waive off old outstanding electricity of domestic consumers up to 1 kW by Channi government. Other subsidies including Rs.

Powercom is trapped in a loan of 17000 crores due to delay in payment
Delay in payment of various subsidies is creating financial difficulties for Powercom. Powercom has to take loans from banks to meet its expenses. At present, Powercom has a loan of 17000 crores, on which a huge interest of 1400 crores has to be paid annually. The major part of this loan is at 10 percent interest. Just a few days back, Powercom has invited tenders for taking another loan of 500 crores, which gives an idea of ​​the current financial position of Powercom.

Commission says to be paid in advance: Engineers Association
Ajaypal Singh, General Secretary, PSEB Engineers Association said that according to the Punjab State Electricity Regulatory Commission, subsidy should be paid in advance. But this does not happen. The power sector plays a big role in the economic condition of Punjab. In such a situation, if the subsidy is not paid to Powercom on time by the government, then big financial problems can arise.

Wrong decision to give 300 units free: Economist
Balwinder Singh Tiwana, a retired professor from the Department of Economics, Punjabi University, says that this decision is not correct in view of the current economic situation of the state. The government should have prepared a road map before announcing how to increase the income of Punjab. If the government had to take this decision, then this plan could have been implemented in a phased manner. Like earlier only SC and BC and later other categories of consumers were gradually included in it.

First of all, the Punjab government should have taken concrete steps by considering ways to reduce the debt of three lakh crore rupees and gradually increase the income. Along with this, the government also needs to prepare a road map for the smooth operation of the power sector. Public welfare does not mean that every section should be given free facilities. Why has the government given 300 units of electricity free of cost to those who can pay the bills. This cannot be considered rational in any way. The earlier governments have not paid the subsidy of crores of rupees to Powercom.

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