Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Panchayats asked to cough up Rs 3,643 cr power dues

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Andhra Pradesh Panchayat Raj and Rural Development (PR&RD) Commissioner Kona Sasidhar has directed all District Panchayat Officers (DPO) to immediately pay the long-pending and overdue power consumption charges to the tune of a whopping Rs.3,643.01 crore. All 12,918 panchayats have not paid the bills for several years. The Energy Department has urged the State government to clear the pending bills.

PR&RD Commissioner Kona Sasidhar recently sent a memo to all DPOs in the State for the payment of dues on priority, with certain instructions. As per the orders of the Commissioner, the DPOs are sending memos to all gram panchayat secretaries in their respective districts for the immediate payment of pending power dues.Of the Rs.3,643.01 crore, Rs.2,208.93 crore is the bill amount and Rs.1,434.08 crore is surcharge. The amount has been overdue for several years to the Andhra Pradesh Central Power Distribution Company Limited (APCPDCL), Andhra Pradesh Eastern Power Distribution Company Limited (APEPDCL) and the Andhra Pradesh Southern Power Distribution Company Limited (APSPDCL).

The State government has deducted a sum of Rs.7,669 crore from the 14th and 15th Finance Commission funds towards adjustment of power consumption bills. However, the electricity department says that the gram panchayats have to pay Rs.3,643.01 crore. In addition, the Andhra Pradesh Electricity Regulatory Commission (APERC) has informed the PR&RD Commissioner of immediate payment of pending current consumption charges.

It was informed that delayed payment of electricity charges was resulting in the avoidance of additional charges, which may become a financial burden for the gram panchayats. So, Commissioner Kona Sasidhar directed all the panchayat secretaries to make payment of outstanding current consumption charges (CC Charges) on a priority basis from the 15th Finance Commission funds or other funds available with the panchayats.

Further, he also instructed the DPOs to submit a report daily on the payment of CC charges in the given proforma. The Commissioner directed them to pay the bills as on date October 1, 2022.

As per the orders given, the gram panchayats under APCPDCL comprising Krishna, Guntur, and Prakasam districts had dues of Rs.6614.09 crore including the surcharge amount. Similarly, the gram panchayats under APEPDCL comprising Srikakulam, Vizianagaram, Visakhapatnam, East Godavari, and West Godavari districts have to pay Rs.715.01 crore and the panchayats under APSPDCL comprising Ananthapuramu, Chittoor, Kadapa, Kurnool and SPSR Nellore districts have to pay Rs.2,313.89 crore.

PR Chamber president asks sarpanches not to pay dues Andhra Pradesh Panchayat Raj Chamber president and former MLC YVB Rajendra Prasad has asked all sarpanches in the State not to pay pending electricity bills.

e demanded that the PR&RD should have to withdraw its memo regarding using the 15th Finance Commission funds towards payment of pending electricity bills.The PR Chamber president told ‘The Pioneer’ that they were fighting against the State government to get funds and rights irrespective of political parties. The State government has diverted Rs.7,669 crore in the name of pending power consumption charges, and now the government has sent a memo for the payment of additional Rs.3,643.01 crore of CC charges, he said.

He further said that the Central government released Rs.969 crore for the second installment of the 15th Finance Commission for the year 2021-22. But, the State government could not credit the same amount to the CFMS account and it was credited to the PD account, he alleged. However, the government directed the gram panchayats to use these amounts for the payment of pending power consumption bills. The State government should withdraw the memo issued on October 14, he demanded.

Panchayats’ Power Consumption Bill Dues (District Wise)
District                      Total due (including surcharge)

Srikakulam                   Rs 20,47,86,878
Vizianagaram               Rs 12,13,11,140
Visakhapatnam          Rs 118,56,75,583
East Godavari             Rs 162,45,45,498
West Godavari           Rs 401,38,72,245
Krishna                        Rs 328,32,13,680
Guntur                         Rs 170,25,87,911
Prakasam                    Rs 115,51,79,267
SPSR Nellore               Rs 193,51,72,355
Chittoor                        Rs 880,56,76,584
Ananthapuram           Rs 472,43,11,749
Kadapa                         Rs 408,05,34,313
Kurnool                       Rs 359,32,61,963
Total                         Rs 3,643,01,29,166

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