Published On : Mon, Feb 8th, 2016

State Govt ‘spared’ 1308 industrialists of electricity charges worth Rs 550 crore: Congress

Spokesman of Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee Sachin Sawant

File Pic

Nagpur: In a damning allegation, the Congress party has said that the State Government deliberately waived electricity charges of 1308 industrialists and dented its coffers to the tune of Rs 550 crore.
Addressing the media persons at Gandhi Bhavan in Mumbai on Monday, the Spokesman of Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee Sachin Sawant said that industries in the State have permission to use electricity through open access system. Under the system, the 1308 industrialists in the State were supplied 6623 lakh units of electricity from October 2014 till to date. There is a provision to levy charges on used electricity in accordance with the Mumbai Electricity Tariff Act 1958. The charges are to be paid even if the used electricity was made available by any means or brought from any state by the industrialists.

Accordingly, the MSEDCL should have charged the 6623 lakh units of electricity at the rate of Rs 8 per unit and 9.3 percent power tariff. It means, a total of Rs 550 crore, including Rs 493 crore as electricity charges and Rs 60 crore as sales tax, should have been recovered from the 1308 industrialists. This money is used for non-conventional energy generation and conservation. But the State Government did not recover a single rupee from these industrialists and thus dented the State coffers of the staggering amount, charged the Congress spokesman.

In 2014, the Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission had announced the open access policy. The policy also mentioned the recovery of electricity charges and surcharges as mandatory, said Sawant and added that he is soon writing a letter to Energy Minister Chandrashekhar Bawankule in this regard. “Now at least, the State Government should initiate steps and start recovering the huge dues,” stated Sawant and demanded a high-level probe into the matter and stern action against the guilty.