This state govt will pay additional electricity bill of 1 crore customers for lockdown months
With the consumers complaining of sky high electricity bills for the lockdown months, Maharashtra government has decided to absorb most of it in a move that is likely to bring cheers to over one crore consumers in the Uddhav Thackeray-led state. The government will bear the bulk of “additional” burden in power bills during lockdown months and will address consumer complaints of high power bills, The Indian Express reported. Earlier in July, prominent industrialists and film celebrities in the state complained that their electricity bills were higher by twice or sometimes thrice, which brought the issue to the attention of officials.
The Maharashtra government is now mulling a proposal to be discussed in the Cabinet, according to which, all eligible households will be required only to pay for the units consumed in the corresponding month in 2019. In the cases where the billed units for April, May and June this year exceed that of the previous corresponding usage by 100 units or less, the government has proposed to bear the entire cost of the surplus consumption.
In the cases where the corresponding usage is more than 100 units, Maharashtra government will absorb 50% of the extra burden up to 300 units. For more than 300 units but less than 500 units, 25% will be absorbed. The proposal has been finalised during a meeting between Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, who also heads the Finance department, and Energy Minister Nitin Raut last month, sources said, the newspaper reported. In total, the move will cost Rs 1,000 crore to the exchequer.
What is the deal with higher electricity bills during lockdown months?
During the lockdown months, power companies were unable to send officials for physical readings due to which consumers received provisional bills for April and May. However, as lockdown restrictions were eased, physical readings were recorded and the differences were added in June bills. “We have re-started physical meter reading which was temporarily halted since March because of Covid-19. Bills were generated on the lower side, being an average of the preceding three months (bills of December, January and February), which are winter months,” an Adani Electricity Mumbai Ltd (AEML) spokesperson said in a statement then.