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POWER MINISTER HAILS STATE GOVERNMENT’S DECISION TO WAIVE OFF THE OUTSTANDING POWER BILLS OF SC/BC/BPL FAMILIES

POWER MINISTER HAILS STATE GOVERNMENT’S DECISION TO WAIVE OFF THE OUTSTANDING POWER BILLS OF SC/BC/BPL FAMILIES

 

Chandigarh, March 6:

 

Giving much respite to over 1.5 lac SC/BC/BPL families, the State government has decided to waive off their outstanding power bills, informed GS Kangar, Power Minister Punjab.

It is pertinent to mention the lakhs of beneficiaries of all the categories of domestic users availing 200 units of free power per month, were being issued bills since November 2017 for payment of electricity usage as their consumption exceeded the slated limit. They were expected to pay the entire dues instead of paying only for units consumed over and above the entitled free 200 units.

Beneficiaries had been pressing upon the government seeking waiver of arrears, said Kangar and added that taking a compassionate view of the genuine demand of economically weaker SC/BC families and the BPL families, Captain Amarinder Singh, Chief Minister Punjab has in principle given approval to the waiver of arrears and the beneficiaries would now require to clear their outstanding bills by paying only for the charges of extra usage and the penalty levied would also be waived off.

Hailing State Government’s decision, Power Minister said, “the beneficiaries were reeling under economic pressure; the billed amount coupled with non-payment penalties had raised the arrears to exorbitant level. State Governments decision is a huge respite and would go a long way to de-stress the poor beneficiaries.”

The move will put an additional burden of Rs. 350 Crores on the State exchequer.

Earlier, in January 2019, Punjab Government had removed the upper annual limit of 3000 units for electricity consumption by economically weaker SC/ BC and BPL families, enabling all domestic users in these categories to avail 200 units per month free of cost. The decision brought back into the scheme’s cover over one lakh domestic consumers who had been taken out of its ambit with the introduction of the upper limit.