Punjab finance minister Manpreet Badal has set aside Rs 12,248 crore for paying for power subsidies in the 2020-21 financial year, but even this large amount is unlikely to clear the dues of Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL).
This is because payments pending from previous years have been piling up and keeping the power corporation’s balance sheet in the red.
In his speeach, the minister said Rs 8,275 crore had been set aisde for free electricity to agricultural power connections, Rs 2,267 crore for providing power to industrial sector at Rs 5 a unit, and Rs 1,705 crore for subsidised power to domestic consumers belonging to SC, BC and other sections.
However, latest data released by PSPCL showed that there was a pendency of Rs 5,663.47 crore on February 26 which was to be cleared by the government. When coupled with the subsidy for March, this ammount stands at Rs 6,932.03 crore.
Till February 26, the state government was to release a sum of Rs 13703.52 crore to the PSPCL. Of this, only Rs 8,040.47 crore had been released.
PSPCL has so far accumulated Rs 14,972.09 crore in pending payments, including power subsidies of Rs 9,674.54 crore and Rs 5,297.55 crore as carry forward from previous years. This ammount is supposed to be cleared by March 31.
In the 2015-16 fiscal year, the carry forward was of Rs 1603.17 crore. This came down to Rs 1,315.5 crore in 2016-17. However