Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Ltd (MSEDCL) Tuesday cited arrears above Rs 70,000 crore and asked its consumers to pay their bills regularly.
Also known as Mahavitaran, the state-owned discom in a statement said, “An electricity bill is not a government tax or tax levied by the local self government bodies. Electricity bill means the payment made for the actual consumption of electricity by the consumers. If there is no electricity connection, there is no question of paying the electricity bill. Also, if the electricity is not used even after taking the connection, there is no need to pay extra except for the fixed charges. Therefore, when you are using electricity, the charge of the electricity that you have consumed is nothing but the electricity bill and it is the duty of the consumer to pay it regularly every month.”
Issued by MSEDCL’s spokesperson Anil Kamble, the statement added, “Mahavitaran, which is a company which works on a ‘no profit no loss’ (revenue neutral) basis, is also a consumer and has a liability of crores of rupees on electricity purchase, transmission costs as well as various loans and instalments. On the other hand, Mahavitaran has a huge mountain of arrears of Rs 71,578 crore. Due to this serious financial crisis, the very existence of Mahavitaran is in question. Mahavitaran charges bills from residential, commercial, industrial, agricultural, public services and other consumers only as per the rates fixed by the Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission and consumers pay for the electricity that they have used. However, Mahavitaran will have no option but to disconnect the power supply of those who do not pay their bills as there is an unprecedented amount of arrears and increasing financial burden,” MSEDCL said.
It added, “Regular payment of electricity bills does not seem to be the norm. Today, consumers are spending mainly on material goods like mobile phones, dish TVs, electrical appliances, etc. Even income and property taxes and other necessary expenses are paid on time. It is very unfortunate that consumers do not give much priority to paying electricity bills.”
Kamble added, “Energy Minister Dr Nitin Raut has brought a great scheme for the agricultural consumers where they have to pay only 66% of their total arrears. Farmers should take the benefit of this scheme.”
Listing out its expenses, MSEDCL asked consumers to stand by the discom and reiterated they will be forced to snap electricity supplies to those who default if bills are not paid on time.