State depts key defaulters on electricity bills
New Delhi: State government departments and agencies are among the key electricity bill defaulters adding to the woes of the distribution companies or discoms.
The state government departments together owed about Rs 41,000 crore to the discoms. This is one of the reasons other than theft and systemic inefficiency for the poor financial health of distribution companies.
Replying to a question from Congress MP B.K. Hariprasad in the Rajya Sabha, Power Minister R.K. Singh said that the total dues/outstanding against state government departments stood at Rs 41,000 crore while the loss of discoms in FY19 was Rs 27,000 crore.
Listing out reasons for the losses of discoms, the minister said that theft was one of the key issues.
"The reasons for the losses can be broadly categorised into three. One, of course, is theft. The second is inefficiency in billing and collections by the distribution companies. So, a large number of connections are not metered," Singh said.
He further said that where they are metered, a large number of meter readings do not happen. And where meter readings happen, the collection does not happen and if collection does not happen, disconnections don't take place.
"So that is inefficiency of discoms. One is theft, the second is inefficiency. The third reason is government departments do not pay," he added.