By ARUN PRATAP SINGH
DEHRADUN, 14 Apr: In view of the fact that most of the industrial units and commercial consumers are closed currently due to the Corona pandemic forced lockdown, the Uttarakhand Government today announced some relief to the power consumers of the state. The decision was taken at the instructions of Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat. The government has claimed that the decision would result in major relief to farmers, industries and commercial establishments.
The government today permitted waiver of late surcharge to the owners of farmers’ tubewells. The government claimed that waiver of late surcharge would benefit 20,000 farmers who owned private tubewells on their farms. According to the government, this would result in additional financial burden of Rs 3.64 crores to UPCL but would be borne by the state government.
In addition, the government also postponed recovery of fixed or demand charges on electricity consumption by the industrial and commercial category consumers from March 2020 to May 2020. Late surcharge has been waived in this category, too. The government claimed that the postponement of the recovery of fixed charges or demand charges would benefit 2 lakh 70 thousand consumers. This would entail a financial burden of Rs 8 crores, which would also be borne by the state government.
In what the government also claimed to be a major relief for all categories of electricity consumers, it has decided to grant one percent discount on current bill amounts. The discount would be available to only those consumers who would make online payment of their bills by the due dates. However, the upper limit of the discount was fixed at Rs 1 lakh for HT consumers and Rs 10,000 for LT consumers. The government claimed that this discount would benefit roughly 25 lakh power consumers in the state. This would entail an additional financial burden of Rs 2 crores per month, which would be borne by the UPCL and not the government. The expenditure of about Rs 2 crores per month on this will be borne on account of non-payment of power dues till 30 June.
In another decision, the government today released an amount of Rs 33.84 lakhs to provide 7.5 kgs of additional foodgrain per month for three months from April to June 2020 to ration card holders under the State Food Scheme.
At present, 2.5 kgs rice per month at the rate of Rs 11 per kg and 5 kgs of wheat at Rs 8.60 per kg is being provided to the ration card holders under the State Food Scheme, which means that a total of 7.5 kg of foodgrains is provided currently, which would now be doubled to 15 kgs per ration card per month for April, May and June at the prescribed rates.