Energy minister Nitin Raut may have made big headlines by proposing to provide free power to domestic consumers using less than 100 units per month, but MSEDCL top officials say the plan is unfeasible.
Raut in fact wants to provide free power to consumers of all four discoms in the state – Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited (MSEDCL), Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST), Brihanmumbai Suburban Electric Supply (BSES) and Tata Power.
“I have asked energy ministry officials to submit a report in this regard in three months,” he told TOI.
A senior discom official told TOI on the condition of anonymity that there were 14 lakh consumers in Delhi whose consumption was less than 100 units. “However, in the state the figure is over 1.25 crore.
A rough calculation done by us shows that state government will have to pay Rs8,000 crore to the MSEDCL every year to provide free power to the targeted group,” he said. The official further said Delhi and Maharashtra could not be compared as far as power tariff was compared.
“Delhi has no agricultural consumers whereas there are 42 lakh such users in the state. Other consumers have to pay a cross-subsidy of Rs9,000 crore to keep their tariff at less than Rs2 per unit. In addition, the state government has to pay a subsidy of Rs5,500 crore to us. Delhi government doesn’t have to pay any such subsidy,” he added.
“The state government is reeling under a debt burden of over Rs4 lakh crore. Recent crop loan waiver will cost it another Rs30,000 crore to Rs40,000 crore.