Haryana Govt owes Rs 600 cr to discoms

The state government is the biggest defaulter when it comes power bills. It was revealed during the review of fiscal condition of electricity distribution companies that various departments have defaulted in payment of electricity bills to the tune of Rs 600 crore. The outstanding amount of the government is much higher than those of private consumers.

At the last week’s review meeting, chaired by chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar who also hold the power portfolio, the departments were directed to pay up. Khattar told all heads of the departments, which have defaulted in payment of bills, to clear the dues at the earliest. Officials of the electricity distribution companies (discoms) -Uttar Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam Limited (UHBVNL) and Dakshin Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam Limited (DHBVNL) – were directed to be in touch with the concerned officials of the departments and submit a fortnightly report.

According to information, the irrigation department has outstanding power dues of Rs 285.96 crore. It is followed by the public health engineering department that has unpaid bills of Rs 151.43 crore. The urban local bodies department has unpaid power dues of Rs 105.8 crore, the panchayati raj department owes Rs 12.86 crore and arrears of other departments have piled up to Rs 48.46 crore.

Interestingly, the electricity and panchayati raj departments are said to have recovered Rs 300 crore as unpaid dues from the candidates contesting the panchayat elections in the state. Additional chief secretary (electricity) Rajan Kumar Gupta said, “These are outstanding arrears as the government departments don’t default on payment of bills. Their arrears could be due to non-availability of budget. Else, such arrears are cleared by the end of financial year.”

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